Prognostic Value of Components of Body Composition in Patients Treated with Targeted Therapy for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Retrospective Case Series


To evaluate the association between various components of body composition and overall survival of patients treated with targeted therapies for advanced renal cell carcinoma.


This retrospective study included 124 Chinese patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma who had been treated with targeted therapy from 2008 to 2012 at Fudan University Cancer Center. The L3 plane from a computed tomography scan was analyzed. Area and density were recorded as quantitative and quality measures. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportion hazard regression models were constructed to calculate the crude and adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of various components of body composition for overall survival. X-tile software was used to search for optimal cutoffs for male and female patients and the concordance index evaluated incremental changes in prognostication.


After adjusting for age, sex and Heng risk stratification, only visceral adipose tissue index (HR 0.981, p = 0.002) and subcutaneous adipose tissue index (HR 0.987, p = 0.048) were independently associated with overall survival. Visceral adipose tissue remained a significant prognostic factor (HR 0.997, p = 0.005) when the influence of body mass index was included. Using defined cutoffs, patients with low VAT had double the death rate (p = 0.007). Visceral adipose tissue also added significant benefit to Heng risk stratification. Further exploratory analysis revealed that visceral adipose tissue may be an indicator of nutritional status in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.


Radiologic measurement of VAT is an independent prognostic factor for Asian patients treated with targeted therapy for advanced renal cell carcinoma.