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Evaluation of morphologically unclassified renal cell carcinoma with electron microscopy and novel renal markers: implications for tumor reclassification.

Ultrastructural pathology (2013-02-07)
Romualdo Talento, Karlene Hewan-Lowe, Ming Yin
ABSTRACT

Despite progress in the classification of renal cell carcinomas (RCC), a subset of these carcinomas remains unclassified (RCC-U). Patients with RCC-U usually present at a late stage and have a poor prognosis. Several studies have attempted to extract new classifications of newly recognized renal carcinomas from the group of RCC-U. However, to date, no studies in the literature have attempted to characterize the RCC-U with unrecognizable cell types beyond the morphologic evaluation on H&E-stained sections. The purpose of this study was to evaluate this group of RCC-U using electron microscopy and novel renal markers. Ten cases of such RCC-U were identified for this study. At the ultrastructural level, they did not show typical morphology that resembled any of the well-studied, recognizable subtypes of RCC. However, they did reveal features of renal tubular epithelial differentiation. The histologic, ultrastructural, and immunophenotypic features indicated that these tumors are poorly differentiated renal epithelial tumors, possibly derived from the proximal nephron, with an immunohistochemical profile similar to high-grade clear cell RCC. It is, therefore, proposed that this group of renal carcinomas be renamed "poorly differentiated renal cell carcinoma, not otherwise specified." The current study showed that PAX-8 and carbonic anhydrase IX are reliable markers for this novel group of renal carcinoma, and that electron microscopy is an important adjunct in the evaluation of new and unusual renal entities.

MATERIALS
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