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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Apr;1785(2):133-55. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2007.12.002. Epub 2007 Dec 15.

Genetics and epigenetics of renal cell cancer.

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Department of Pathology, GROW - School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is not a single disease, but comprises a group of tumors of renal epithelial origin, each with a different histology, displaying a different clinical course and caused by different genetic alterations. Since cure rates are inversely associated with stage and response to the available treatment regimes is limited to a subgroup of patients, diagnostic methods facilitating early detection and new therapeutic modalities are necessary. Increased knowledge of the underlying pathophysiology of RCC has resulted in the identification of genetic alterations involved in renal cell cancer carcinogenesis. Promising agents to target these pathways, especially the angiogenesis pathway, are being developed, some of which are already standard of care. In addition to genetics, knowledge on epigenetics in the process of renal tumorigenesis has been significantly increased in the last decades. Epigenetics will play an increasing role in the development of new therapeutic modalities and may deliver new prognostic and early diagnostic markers. In this review we discuss the background of RCC and the clinical applications of RCC genetics and epigenetics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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