Renal Cell Carcinoma With Chromosome 6p Amplification Including the TFEB Gene: A Novel Mechanism of Tumor Pathogenesis?

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The American journal of surgical pathology


Amplification of chromosome 6p has been implicated in aggressive behavior in several cancers, but has not been characterized in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We identified 9 renal tumors with amplification of chromosome 6p including the TFEB gene, 3 by fluorescence in situ hybridization, and 6 from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) databases. Patients' ages were 28 to 78 years (median, 61 y). Most tumors were high stage (7/9 pT3a, 2/9 pN1). Using immunohistochemistry, 2/4 were positive for melanocytic markers and cathepsin K. Novel TFEB fusions were reported by TCGA in 2; however, due to a small composition of fusion transcripts compared with full-length transcripts (0.5/174 and 3.3/132 FPKM), we hypothesize that these represent secondary fusions due to amplification. Five specimens (4 TCGA, 1 fluorescence in situ hybridization) had concurrent chromosome 3p copy number loss or VHL deletion. However, these did not resemble clear cell RCC, had negative carbonic anhydrase IX labeling, lacked VHL mutation, and had papillary or unclassified histology (2/4 had gain of chromosome 7 or 17). One tumor each had somatic FH mutation and SMARCB1 mutation. Chromosome 6p amplification including TFEB is a previously unrecognized cytogenetic alteration in RCC, associated with heterogenous tubulopapillary eosinophilic and clear cell histology. The combined constellation of features does not fit cleanly into an existing tumor category (unclassified), most closely resembling papillary or translocation RCC. The tendency for high tumor stage, varied tubulopapillary morphology, and a subset with melanocytic marker positivity suggests the possibility of a unique tumor type, despite some variation in appearance and genetics.

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Adult; Aged; Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors; Biomarkers, Tumor; Carcinoma, Renal Cell; Chromosomes, Human, Pair 6; Female; Gene Amplification; Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic; Humans; Immunohistochemistry; In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence; Kidney Neoplasms; Male; Middle Aged; Neoplasm Staging

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