Histopathology and molecular genetics of renal tumors toward unification of a classification system

J Urol. 1999 Oct;162(4):1246-58.


Purpose: We characterize the genetic abnormalities associated with pathological subtypes of renal tumors, which may help diagnosis or prognostication.

Materials and methods: A comprehensive literature review of genetic abnormalities associated with different renal tumor subtypes was performed.

Results: Studies of sporadic and hereditary forms suggest that abnormalities in the von Hippel-Lindau and met genes are the earliest changes in conventional (clear cell) and papillary basophilic renal cancers, respectively. Renal oncocytoma and chromophobe carcinoma have common genetic abnormalities, suggesting a relationship. A similar finding has been observed between papillary adenoma and papillary basophilic renal cancer.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that molecular diagnostic testing will help determine histopathological diagnosis, identify tumor types with similar genetic abnormalities suggesting a common origin and indicate potential prognostic markers for future study.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / classification
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology*