From bench to bedside: current and future applications of molecular profiling in renal cell carcinoma

Mol Cancer. 2009 Mar 17;8:20. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-8-20.


Among the adult population, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) constitutes the most prevalent form of kidney neoplasm. Unfortunately, RCC is relatively asymptomatic and there are no tumor markers available for diagnostic, prognostic or predictive purposes. Molecular profiling, the global analysis of gene and protein expression profiles, is an emerging promising tool for new biomarker identification in RCC. In this review, we summarize the existing knowledge on RCC regarding clinical presentation, treatment options, and tumor marker status. We present a general overview of the more commonly used approaches for molecular profiling at the genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic levels. We also highlight the emerging role of molecular profiling as not only revolutionizing the process of new tumor marker discovery, but also for providing a better understanding of the pathogenesis of RCC that will pave the way towards new targeted therapy discovery. Furthermore, we discuss the spectrum of clinical applications of molecular profiling in RCC in the current literature. Finally, we highlight some of the potential challenging that faces the era of molecular profiling and its transition into clinical practice, and provide an insight about the future perspectives of molecular profiling in RCC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / therapy
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Gene Expression Profiling / trends
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / therapy
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor