Identification and validation of a 44-gene expression signature for the classification of renal cell carcinomas

Renal cancers account for more than 3% of all adult malignancies and cause more than 23,400 deaths per year in China alone. The four most common types of kidney tumours include clear cell, papillary, chromophobe and benign oncocytoma. These histological subtypes vary in their clinical course and prognosis, and different clinical strategies have been developed for their management. Some kidney tumours can be very difficult to distinguish based on the pathological assessment of morphology and immunohistochemistry.

Six renal cell carcinoma microarray data sets, including 106 clear cell, 66 papillary, 42 chromophobe, 46 oncocytoma and 35 adjacent normal tissue samples, were subjected to integrative analysis. These data were combined and used as a training set for candidate gene expression signature identification. In addition, two independent cohorts of 1020 RNA-Seq samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas database and 129 qRT-PCR samples from Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center (FUSCC) were analysed to validate the selected gene expression signature.

A 44-gene expression signature derived from microarray analysis was strongly associated with the histological differentiation of renal tumours and could be used for tumour subtype classification. The signature performance was further validated in 1020 RNA-Seq samples and 129 qRT-PCR samples with overall accuracies of 93.4 and 93.0%, respectively.

A 44-gene expression signature that could accurately discriminate renal tumour subtypes was identified in this study. Our results may prompt further development of this gene expression signature into a molecular assay amenable to routine clinical practice.

Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR. 2017 Dec 06*** epublish ***

Qifeng Wang, Hualei Gan, Chengshu Chen, Yifeng Sun, Jinying Chen, Midie Xu, Weiwei Weng, Liyu Cao, Qinghua Xu, Jian Wang

Department of Pathology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China., Canhelp Genomics, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China., Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Irvine, USA., Canhelp Genomics, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. ., Department of Pathology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China. .

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