Imaging Mass Spectrometry is an Accurate Tool in Differentiating Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma and Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Proof-of-concept Study.

Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) and chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) are relatively common tumors that can have significant risk for mortality. Treatment and prognostication in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) are dependent upon correct histologic typing. ccRCC and chRCC are generally straightforward to diagnose based on histomorphology alone. However, high-grade ccRCC and chRCC can sometimes resemble each other morphologically, particularly in small biopsies. Multiple immunostains and/or colloidal iron stain are sometimes required to differentiate the two. Imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) allows simultaneous spatial mapping of thousands of biomarkers, using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections. In this study, we evaluate the ability of IMS to differentiate between World Health Organization/International Society for Urological Pathology grade 3 ccRCC and chRCC. IMS spectra from a training set of 14 ccRCC and 13 chRCC were evaluated via support vector machine algorithm with a linear kernel for machine learning, building a classification model. The classification model was applied to a separate validation set of 6 ccRCC and 6 chRCC, with 19 to 20, 150-μm diameter tumor foci in each case sampled by IMS. Most evaluated tumor foci were classified correctly as ccRCC versus chRCC (99% accuracy, kappa=0.98), demonstrating that IMS is an accurate tool in differentiating high-grade ccRCC and chRCC.

The journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society. 2020 May 28 [Epub ahead of print]

Hsiang-Chih Lu, Nathan Heath Patterson, Audra M Judd, Michelle L Reyzer, Jennifer K Sehn

Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO., Mass Spectrometry Research Center, Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.