Similarities and Differences between Clear Cell Tubulo-Papillary and Conventional Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Comparative Phenotypical and Mutational Analysis.

Clear cell tubulo-papillary renal cell carcinoma (cctpRCC) is characterized by clear cell morphology, but differs from conventional clear cell carcinoma (ccRCC) for its indolent clinical behavior and genetic background. The differential diagnosis between the two is based on histology and immunohistochemistry (IHC).

We performed a comparative case-control histological, IHC, and genetic analysis by next generation sequencing (NGS), to point out the differences in 10 cases of cctpRCC, and six controls of ccRCC with low stage and grade.

All 16 cases showed the IHC profile with cytokeratin 7, racemase, and carbonic anhydrase IX expected for the histological features of each tumor type. By contrast, the NGS mutation analysis that covered 207 amplicons of 50 oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes provided conflicting results. Among the 10 cctpRCC cases, eight (80%) were wild type for all of the genes in the panel, while two (20%) harbored VHL mutations typical of ccRCC. Three of the six (50%) ccRCC control cases showed expected VHL mutations; two (33%) harbored pathogenic mutations in the p53 or the CKIT genes; and one (16%) was wild type.

We can assume that histology and ICH are not sufficient for a definitive diagnosis of cctpRCC or ccRCC. Although with a panel covering 50 genes, we found that 80% of cctpRCC were genetically silent; thus, suggesting an indolent biology of these tumors. The differential diagnosis between ccptRCC and ccRCC for the choice of the best therapeutic strategy likely requires the comprehensive evaluation of histology, IHC, and at least VHL mutations.

Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland). 2020 Feb 23*** epublish ***

Francesca Giunchi, Elisa Gruppioni, Annalisa Altimari, Elisa Capizzi, Francesco Massari, Riccardo Schiavina, Matteo Brunelli, Guido Martignoni, Michelangelo Fiorentino

Department of Pathology, University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy., Department of Oncology, University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy., Department of Urology, University of Bologna, 40138 Bologna, Italy., Department of Pathology, University of Verona, 37129 Verona, Italy.