ABO blood group is a predictor of survival in patients undergoing surgery for renal cell carcinoma


Samuel D. Kaffenberger, Department of Urologic Surgery, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, A1302 Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37215, USA. e-mail: samuel.d.kaffenberger@vanderbilt.edu


Study Type – Prognosis (cohort series)

Level of Evidence 3a

What's known on the subject? and What does the study add?

Some evidence suggests that ABO blood type may be a risk factor for cancer incidence and prognosis. For example, a large study recently discovered an increased incidence of pancreatic cancer in patients with non-O blood type; however, it is not known whether blood group correlates with outcomes in patients with RCC.

We found a significant and independent association between ABO blood group and overall survival in patients undergoing surgery for locoregional RCC. Specifically, we identified non-O blood type as a predictor of mortality.


  • • To determine whether ABO blood group is associated with survival after nephrectomy or partial nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma (RCC).


  • • We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 900 patients who underwent surgery for locoregional RCC between 1997 and 2008 at a single institution.
  • • Covariates included age, gender, race, American Society of Anesthesiology Physical Status, preoperative anaemia and hypoalbuminemia, tumour characteristics, lymph node status, procedure performed, transfusion status and ABO blood group.
  • • Primary outcomes were overall (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS).
  • • Univariable survival analyses were performed using the Kaplan–Meier and log-rank methods. Multivariable analysis was performed using a Cox proportional hazards model.


  • • The 3-year OS estimate was 75% (95%CI 70–79%) for O blood group and 68% (95% CI 63–73%) for non-O blood group (P= 0.072). The 3-year DSS was 81% (95% CI 76–85%) for O blood group and 76% (95%CI 71–80%) for non-O blood group (P= 0.053).
  • • In the multivariable analysis for OS, non-O blood type was significantly associated with decreased OS (HR 1.68, 95%CI 1.18–2.39; P= 0.004) but not DSS (HR 1.53, 95%CI 0.97–2.41; P= 0.065).


  • • These data suggest that ABO blood group is independently associated with OS in patients undergoing surgery for locoregional RCC. ABO blood group has not been previously recognized as a predictor of survival in RCC.