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Cancer Res. 1991 Mar 1;51(5):1544-52.

Histopathological, cytogenetic, and molecular characterization of renal cortical tumors.

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  • 1Division of Urology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021.


We used cytogenetic and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis methods to define genetic alterations and also correlate the changes with histopathology in renal cortical tumors. The study series is comprised of 50 renal tumors in 4 histological categories: (a) clear cell, nonpapillary, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) (n = 32); (b) nonclear cell, nonpapillary RCC (n = 10); (c) papillary RCC (n = 3); and (d) oncocytic tumors (n = 5). Successful karyotypes were obtained from 28 tumors (56%), of which 17 (61%) were abnormal. Abnormalities of chromosome 3p were seen in 9 tumors, which included unbalanced translocations and terminal or interstitial deletions. Abnormalities of chromosome 5 were identified in 11 tumors, 8 of which were due to unbalanced translocations between 3p and 5q, resulting in an extra copy for the region 5q22----ter. In addition, trisomy or tetrasomy of chromosome 17 was seen in 6 (5 with normal chromosome 3 and one with 3p deletion), trisomy or more copies of chromosome 7 in 8 (4 with 3p deletion, 2 with trisomy or tetrasomy 17, and 2 with trisomy alone), and trisomy 12 in 3 (all with trisomy 17) tumors. Furthermore, relative deficiency of chromosome 17p was seen in 3 (all with deletion 3p) and chromosome 18 in 4 (all with deletion 3p) tumors. RFLP analysis with four chromosome 3 specific probes detected 3p deletions in 19 tumors with the most common breakpoint located between 3p14-21. The 19 3p deletions detected by RFLP included tumors that also showed rearrangement of 3p by cytogenetics (n = 4) and those that showed normal karyotypes (n = 3) in addition to cytogenetic failures (n = 12). Deletions of 17p were seen in 5 of 31 informative cases. Thus, deletions of 3p were seen in a total of 24 tumors by cytogenetic and/or RFLP analysis, 21 of which were clear cell, nonpapillary RCC, whereas 3 had a minor clear-cell component. Oncocytic and nonclear, nonpapillary tumors, on the other hand, did not demonstrate 3p deletions by either technique, whereas trisomy 17 was seen in 3 of the 3 papillary tumors. The loss of alleles from chromosome 17p and 18 and an increased dosage of gene or genes on chromosomes 5q and 7 as seen in high-stage tumors of various histological subtypes may be associated with progression of disease.

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