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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2011 December;63(4):293-308


language: English

Tissue-based molecular markers for renal cell carcinoma

Rink M. 1, Chun F. K. H. 1, Robinson B. 2, Sun M. 3, Karakiewicz P. I. 3, Bensalah K. 4, Fisch M. 1, Scherr D. S. 5, Lee R. K. 5, Margulis V. 6, Shariat S. F. 5

1 Department of Urology, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany; 2 Departments of Pathology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY, USA; 3 Cancer Prognostics and Health Outcomes Unit, University of Montreal Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada; 4 Department of Urology, University of Rennes, Rennes, France; 5 Departments of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY, USA; 6 Department of Urology, University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX, USA


Since the introduction of targeted therapies in renal cell carcinoma (RCC), more individualized treatment options have become available. Molecular markers might support treatment planning due to more accurate individual risk stratification. Current molecular markers in RCC were reviewed to elucidate clinical impact and future perspectives. An English-language literature review of the Medline database (1990 to September 2010) of published data on tissue-based molecular markers and RCC was undertaken. Histological types, clinical and oncological behaviour are variable in renal masses. Molecular markers offer potential for additional information in tumour detection and diagnosis, prognostic and predictive values, as well as determination of therapeutic targets. Investigations on molecular biomarkers in RCC include hypoxia inducible factor (HIF-α), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), survivin, B7-H1, p53, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), Insulin-like growth factor II mRNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3), Ki-67, C-reactive protein (CRP), Vimentin, Fascin, platelet count, hemoglobin level and combinations of these factors. Although some markers offer promising results, utilization in daily practice is compromised due to limited specificity, predictive accuracy and tumour histology variablity. There is an imminent need for novel molecular markers that allow accurate histologic and biologic classification of RCC to improve upon current outcomes. It is very likely that a panel of molecular markers will be used to achieve a sufficient degree of certainty in order to guide clinical decisions. A large concerted effort is required to advance the field of RCC molecular marker through systematic discovery, verification, and validation.

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