Start of a New Era: Management of Non-Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma in 2022

Curr Oncol Rep. 2022 Sep;24(9):1201-1208. doi: 10.1007/s11912-022-01269-1. Epub 2022 Apr 19.


Purpose of review: Historically, kidney cancer was diagnosed as either clear cell renal carcinoma (ccRCC) or non-clear cell renal carcinoma (nccRCC). With further research into the pathophysiology of nccRCC, multiple distinct subtypes have emerged creating distinct diagnosis, such as papillary renal cell carcinoma (PRCC), chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (crRCC), or unclassified carcinoma (cRCC). Many other kidney cancer subtypes are now included in the WHO classification system.

Recent findings: The prognosis for each of the more frequently diagnosed types is discussed here along with treatment recommendations. The available clinical trial results and salient retrospective studies of each subtype are reviewed here to guide clinicians on the optimal treatment selection for patients with these rare histologic types or RCC. Many nccRCC types are now recognized and each has unique molecular drivers which are different than ccRCC. The optimal treatment strategy is different for each subtype. The prognosis also differs based on the histology.

Keywords: Chromophobe; Collecting duct; Immune therapy; Kidney cancer; Non-clear cell; Papillary; Translocation; Tyrosine kinase inhibitor; Unclassified.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies