Comprehensive review of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2021 Apr:160:103287. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2021.103287. Epub 2021 Mar 19.


Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) is the third most common type of RCC with distinct biology compared to other kidney cancer subtypes. The heterogeneity between the RCC subtypes is associated with noticeable differences in tumor aggressiveness and risk for the development of metastatic disease. ChRCC is characterized by chromosomal aneuploidy, TP53, PTEN, and mitochondrial gene mutations. Though the therapeutic landscape of clear cell RCC (ccRCC) has significantly evolved over the past decade, limited progress has been seen in chRCC due to its infrequent incidence. In fact, the therapeutic approach for chRCC is often extrapolated from ccRCC treatments or studies that combine several forms of nccRCC subtypes. In the new era of genetic profiling of tumors and targeted therapeutics, this review describes the epidemiology, pathology, molecular characteristics, and current management with ongoing clinical trials for chRCC.

Keywords: Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma; Chromosomal aneuploidy; Immunotherapy; Mitochondrial gene mutations; Targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / genetics