WW and C2 domain-containing 1 (WWC1) protein is a suppressor of malignancies. However, there is no information on the pathological significance of WWC1 in upper urinary tract cancer (UTUC).
In this study, WWC1 immunoreactivity was investigated in 152 non-metastatic UTUC samples. The relationships between WWC1 expression and grade, pT stage, proliferative index (using an antibody to Ki-67), and the immunohistochemical expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 were evaluated.
WWC1 expression was negatively associated with tumor grade and pT stage (p<0.001). Positive expression of WWC1 was a better predictor of the UTUC recurrence and subsequent metastasis, and the multivariate analysis showed that WWC1 expression was a significant predictor of subsequent metastasis (hazard ratio=0.29, p=0.020). WWC1 expression inversely correlated with the proliferative index (odds ratio=2.59, p=0.023) and expression of MMP9 (odds ratio=2.19, p=0.040) but not with MMP2 expression, by multivariate analyses.
WWC1 expression was negatively associated with malignant aggressiveness via the suppression of cancer cell proliferation and MMP9 expression in patients with UTUC. This suggests WWC1 to be a useful predictor and novel therapeutic target in patients with UTUC.

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