Contemporary approach to the classification of renal epithelial tumors

Semin Oncol. 2000 Apr;27(2):124-37.


Our understanding of the morphologic and genetic features of renal epithelial neoplasia has brought about profound changes in the classification of these tumors. It is clear that they represent a heterogeneous group of tumors with distinct histopathologic, genetic, and clinical features ranging from benign to high-grade malignant. "Granular" and "sarcomatoid" carcinomas are not distinct entities, since tumors with granular or spindle cell features may be seen in many tumor-types. Using conventional pathologic tools such as hematoxylin and eosin staining, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and electron microscopy, we are able to properly classify the majority of these tumors. Nevertheless, approximately 6% to 7% of cases are impossible to classify in this fashion, thus requiring molecular genetic studies for proper characterization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / classification
  • Carcinoma, Medullary / classification
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / classification
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / classification*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases, Cystic / classification
  • Kidney Neoplasms / classification*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Kidney Tubules, Collecting
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Ductal, Lobular, and Medullary / classification
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / classification
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / classification*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology