Cellular and Molecular Biology



Advances in molecular classification of renal neoplasms

Q. Yin-Goen1,2, J. Dale3, W.-L. Yang1,2, J. Phan3, R. Moffitt3, J.A. Petros1,2,4,5, M.W. Datta1,4,5, M.B. Amin1,4,5, M.D. Wang3 and A.N. Young1,2

1Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA, 2Atlanta VA Medical Center, Decatur, USA, 3The Wallace H Coulter Biomedical Engineering Department, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, 4Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA and 5Department of Urology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA

Offprint requests to: Dr. Andrew N. Young MD, PhD, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University/Atlanta VA Medical Center, 1670 Clairmont Road, Decatur, GA 30333, USA. e-mail: andrew.young@med.va.gov

Summary. Kidney neoplasms are classified by light microscopy using the World Health Organization (WHO) system. The WHO system defines histopathologic tumor subtypes with distinct clinical behavior and underlying genetic mutations. In adults, the common malignant subtypes are variants of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Histopathologic classification is critical for clinical management of RCC, but is becoming more complex with recognition of novel tumor subtypes, development of procedures yielding small diagnostic biopsies, and emergence of molecular therapies directed at tumor gene activity. Therefore, classification systems based on gene expression are likely to become essential for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of kidney tumors. Recent DNA microarray studies have shown that clinically relevant renal tumor subtypes are characterized by distinct gene expression profiles, which are useful for discovery of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. In this review, we summarize the WHO classification system for renal tumors, general applications of microarray technology in cancer research, and specific microarray studies that have advanced knowledge of renal tumor diagnosis, prognosis, therapy and pathobiology. Histol Histopathol 21, 325-339 (2006)

Key words: Kidney Neoplasms, Gene Expression Profiling, Microarrays

DOI: 10.14670/HH-21.325