Objective To determine the prognostic significance of Forkhead Box A1 (FOXA1) expression in patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) undergoing radical nephroureterectomy (RNU). Materials and Methods A retrospective analysis of 566 patients undergoing RNU at seven academic medical centers was performed. Tissue microarrays were subjected to immunohistochemistry using a commercially available polyclonal FOXA1 antibody. Logistic regression determined the association of FOXA1 expression with pathologic features and survival outcomes. Results Three hundred twenty-two men and 244 women were included. The pathologic distribution of specimens included 53% muscle-invasive or greater (≥pT2), 74% high-grade, 16% with flat architecture, 13% with necrosis, 21% with lymphovascular invasion, 18% with concomitant carcinoma in situ, and 8% with positive lymph nodes. The median FOXA1 score was 5.0 (range: 0-8). Lower FOXA1 expression was significantly correlated with advanced pathologic stage (≥pT3) (P = .02), concomitant carcinoma in situ (P = .006), and renal pelvis (vs ureter) location (P < .0001). At a median follow-up of 27.0 months (range: 3-196), 139 patients (25%) experienced disease recurrence and 121 (21%) died from the disease. In a multivariate model, lower FOXA1 expression was independently associated with disease recurrence (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.11, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.05-1.62, P = .04), cancer-specific mortality (HR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.03-1.92, P = .04), and all-cause mortality (HR: 1.08, 95% CI: 1.02-1.18, P = .05). Conclusion Lower FOXA1 expression is associated with adverse pathologic features and inferior survival outcomes for UTUC patients undergoing RNU. These data indicate lower FOXA1 expression may be a marker of aggressive disease in UTUC.
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