Purpose: Both insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 signaling are key regulators of energy metabolism, cellular growth, proliferation, and survival. The IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) is overexpressed in most types of human cancers including renal cell carcinoma (RCC) with poor prognosis. Insulin receptor (IR) shares downstream effectors with IGF-1R; however, the expression and function of IR in the tumorigenesis of renal cancer remains elusive. Therefore, we examined the expression of IR and its prognostic significance in clear cell RCC (CCRCC). Materials and Methods: Immunohistochemical staining for IR was performed on 126 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded CCRCC tissue samples. Eight of these cases were utilized for western blot analysis. The results were compared with various clinico-pathologic parameters of CCRCC and patient survival. Results: IR was expressed in the nuclei of CCRCC tumor cells in 109 cases (87.9%). Higher IR expression was significantly correlated with the presence of cystic change, lower Fuhrman nuclear grade, lower pathologic T stage, and lower TNM stage, although it wasn't significantly related to diabetes status and patient survival. Western blot analyses supported the results of the immunohistochemistry studies. Conclusion: IR expression in CCRCC may be associated with favorable prognostic factors.
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