Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma: an immunohistochemical study of 21 Japanese cases

Mod Pathol. 1999 Mar;12(3):310-7.


Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is a newly established category of RCC composed histologically of characteristic "chromophobe" tumor cells. Although ultrastructural and immunohistochemical studies showed that these tumor cells present several features similar to those found in the intercalated cells of the collecting duct, immunohistochemical studies using antibody panels on a large number of cases are limited. We performed an immunohistochemical study of 21 Japanese cases of chromophobe RCC, along with cases of clear RCC and renal oncocytoma, to find hallmarks useful for precise differential diagnosis of these tumors. Chromophobe RCC was positive for epithelial membrane antigen but negative for vimentin. Cytokeratins did not show constant immunoreactivity in the three types of renal tumors. Furthermore, all of the chromophobe RCCs and renal oncocytomas were positive for E-cadherin but not for N-cadherin, whereas all of the clear RCCs were negative for E-cadherin, and 58% were positive for N-cadherin. The Ki-67 labeling indices were significantly lower in cases classified as (pT1) or Grade 2 chromophobe RCC than in cases of clear RCC. Immunoreaction for E-cadherin was demonstrated to be useful for distinguishing chromophobe RCC from clear RCC, and a low Ki-67 labeling index might indicate a favorable prognosis, as reported in several previous studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / metabolism
  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / pathology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Kidney Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cadherins
  • Ki-67 Antigen