A retrospective analysis of the correlation between AXL expression and clinical outcomes of patients with urothelial bladder carcinoma

Lining Wang, Kangkang Liu, Jianpeng Yu, Erlin Sun


Background: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis of primary tumors revealed that AXL expression is associated with survival in patients with different cancers. The objective of our study is to investigate the relationship between the expression of AXL and clinical outcomes of patients with bladder carcinoma (BC).
Methods: A total of 407 samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database and 203 patients with clinical and pathological diagnosis of BC in our hospital were used to assess the association of AXL and clinical outcomes of BC patients. IHC was performed to evaluate the expression of AXL in tumor tissue collected after surgical treatment.
Results: Data from TCGA showed that AXL mRNA expression was significantly associated with poor clinical-pathological characters and short overall survival (OS) of BC patients. In our study, AXL was significantly related to worse pathological T-stage (pT), lymph node metastasis (pN), and tumor grade. In univariate analysis, abundant AXL was significantly associated with the worse OS. In multivariate analysis, AXL, as well as pT, pN, and Ki67, was an independent prognostic factor in predicting the survival of patients.
Conclusions: AXL was an unfavorable prognostic factor, which was associated with poor clinical outcomes of BC patients.