Kidney Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Microarray Technology Brings More Precise Diagnosis for Rare Kidney Cancer

By: Dana A. Elya, MS, RD, CDN
Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019

Clear cell renal carcinoma and papillary renal cell carcinoma are common types of renal cell carcinoma. Diagnosing them, as well as the rare clear cell papillary renal cell carcinoma, can be challenging, with some types having characteristics of both clear cell and papillary tumors. Shuanzeng Wei, MD, PhD, of the Fox Chase Cancer in Philadelphia, and colleagues used SNP-based chromosome microarray (CMA) technology to make more accurate diagnoses among the renal cell carcinomas. The research findings were published in Applied Immunohistochemistry & Molecular Morphology.

Using CMA technology, the researchers reviewed 14 samples of low-grade renal cell carcinoma tumors. They were able to analyze the specific genetic copy number variations at a higher resolution than with standard or high-resolution chromosome analysis to identify the subgroups of renal cell carcinoma.

The investigators found seven samples with characteristics of clear cell papillary tumors showing a loss of heterozygosity of chromosome 3 and one copy of the X hormone. Of the remaining seven, two were characterized as the clear cell subtype with the loss of chromosome 3; one had the gain of chromosome 7, identifying it as the papillary subtype; and four samples had no alterations of chromosome 3 or 7. Of those last four samples, one had monosomy 8 (another type of kidney cancer), and the last sample had no alteration.

The technology to classify these tumors is not widely available, according to Dr. Wei in a Fox Chase press release. “Patients who come to Fox Chase will have an advantage over those who go to other institutions in our area.... We will be able to more accurately define the tumor type and decide the best treatment and management strategy for the patient.”

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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