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Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Sep 1;24(17):4137-4144. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-0214. Epub 2018 May 14.

Genomic Heterogeneity and the Small Renal Mass.

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Department of Urology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Division of Antitumor Pharmacology, State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.
Department of Pathology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Computer Science Department, Eastern Connecticut University, Willmantic, Connecticut.
Department of Medical Oncology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Department of Urology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


Purpose: Tumor heterogeneity may represent a barrier to preoperative genomic characterization by needle biopsy in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). The extent of heterogeneity in small renal tumors remains unknown. Therefore, we set out to evaluate heterogeneity in resected large and small renal tumors.Experimental Design: We conducted a study from 2013 to 2016 that evaluated 47 consecutive ccRCC tumors resected during radical or partial nephrectomy. Cases were designated as small (<4 cm) and large (>7 cm) tumors. Each tumor had three regions sampled. Copy-number variation (CNV) was assessed and gene expression analysis was performed to characterize the clear-cell A and B (ccA/ccB) profile and the cell-cycle progression (CCP) score. Genomic heterogeneity between three regions was evaluated using CNV subclonal events, regional expression profiles, and correlation between gene expression.Results: Twenty-three small and 24 large tumors were analyzed. Total CNVs and subclonal CNVs events were less frequent in small tumors (P < 0.001). Significant gene expression heterogeneity was observed for both CCP scores and ccA/ccB classifications. Larger tumors had more variance in CCP scores (P = 0.026). The distribution of ccA/ccB differed between small and large tumors with mixed ccA/ccB tumors occurring more frequently in the larger tumors (P = 0.024). Analysis of five mixed tumors (with both ccA/ccB regions) demonstrated the more aggressive ccB phenotype had greater CNV events (P = 0.014).Conclusions: Small renal tumors have much less genomic complexity and fewer subclonal events. Pretreatment genomic characterization with single-needle biopsy in small tumors may be useful to assess biologic potential and may influence therapy. Clin Cancer Res; 24(17); 4137-44. ©2018 AACR.

[Available on 2019-09-01]

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