Prognostic Significance of Carbonic Anhydrase IX expression in Cancer Patients: A Meta-Analysis

Simon J. A. van Kuijk*, Ala Yaromina, Ruud Houben, Raymon Niemans, Philippe Lambin, Ludwig J. Dubois

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Hypoxia is a characteristic of many solid tumors and an adverse prognostic factor for treatment outcome. Hypoxia increases the expression of carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), an enzyme that is predominantly found on tumor cells and is involved in maintaining the cellular pH balance. Many clinical studies investigated the prognostic value of CAIX expression, but most have been inconclusive, partly due to small numbers of patients included. The present meta-analysis was therefore performed utilizing the results of all clinical studies to determine the prognostic value of CAIX expression in solid tumors. Renal cell carcinoma was excluded from this meta-analysis due to an alternative mechanism of upregulation. 958 papers were identified from a literature search performed in PubMed and Embase. These papers were independently evaluated by two reviewers and 147 studies were included in the analysis. The meta-analysis revealed strong significant associations between CAIX expression and all endpoints: overall survival [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.76, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.58-1.98], disease-free survival (HR = 1.87, 95% CI 1.62-2.16), locoregional control (HR = 1.54, 95% CI 1.22-1.93), disease-specific survival (HR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.41-2.25), metastasis-free survival (HR = 1.82, 95% CI 1.33-2.50), and progression-free survival (HR = 1.58, 95% CI 1.27-1.96). Subgroup analyses revealed similar associations in the majority of tumor sites and types. In conclusion, these results show that patients having tumors with high CAIX expression have higher risk of locoregional failure, disease progression, and higher risk to develop metastases, independent of tumor type or site. The results of this meta-analysis further support the development of a clinical test to determine patient prognosis based on CAIX expression and may have important implications for the development of new treatment strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2016


  • cancer
  • carbonic anhydrase IX
  • hypoxia
  • meta-analysis
  • prognosis

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