Approximately 5% of clear cell renal cell carcinomas contain components with sarcomatoid differentiation. It has been suggested that the sarcomatoid elements arise from the clear cell tumors as a consequence of clonal expansions of neoplastic cells with progressively more genetic alterations. Analysis of the pattern of allelic loss and X-chromosome inactivation in both the clear cell and sarcomatoid components of the same tumor allows assessment of the genetic relationship of these tumor elements.
The authors of the current study examined the pattern of allelic loss in clear cell and sarcomatoid components of renal cell carcinomas from 22 patients who had tumors with both components. DNA samples were prepared from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded renal tissue sections using laser-capture microdissection. Five microsatellite polymorphic markers for putative tumor suppressor genes on 5 different chromosomes were analyzed. These included D3S1300 (3p14), D7S522 (7q31), D8S261 (8p21), D9S171 (9p21), and TP53 (17p13). In addition, X-chromosome inactivation analysis was performed in 14 tumors from female patients.
The clear cell components showed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at the D3S1300, D7S522, D8S261, D9S171, and TP53 loci in 18% (4/22), 18% (4/22), 50% (10/20), 15% (3/20), and 20% (4/20) of informative cases, respectively. LOH in the sarcomatoid components was seen at the D3S1300, D7S522, D8S261, D9S171, and TP53 loci in 18% (4/22), 41% (9/22), 70% (14/20), 35% (7/20), and 20% (4/20) of informative cases, respectively. Six cases demonstrated an LOH pattern in the clear cell component that was not seen in the sarcomatoid component. Different patterns of allelic loss were seen in the clear cell and sarcomatoid components in 15 cases. Clonality analysis showed the same pattern of nonrandom X-chromosome inactivation in both clear cell and sarcomatoid components in 13 of the 14 cases studied. One case showed a random pattern of X-chromosome inactivation.
X-chromosome inactivation analysis data suggest that both clear cell and sarcomatoid components of renal cell carcinomas are derived from the same progenitor cell. Different patterns of allelic loss in multiple chromosomal regions were observed in clear cell and sarcomatoid components from the same patient. This genetic heterogeneity indicates genetic divergence during the clonal evolution of renal cell carcinoma. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.