Steroid hormones and their receptors have important roles in normal kidney biology, and alterations in their expression and function help explain the differences in development of kidney diseases, such as nephrotic syndrome and chronic kidney disease. The distinct gender difference in incidence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC), with males having almost twice the incidence as females globally, also suggests a role for sex hormones or their receptors in RCC development and progression. There was a peak in interest in evaluating the roles of androgen and estrogen receptors in RCC pathogenesis in the late 20th century, with some positive outcomes for RCC therapy that targeted estrogen receptors, especially for metastatic disease. Since that time, however, there have been few studies that look at use of steroid hormone modulators for RCC, especially in the light of new therapies such as the tyrosine kinase inhibitors and new immune therapies, which are having some success for treatment of metastatic RCC. This review summarises past and current literature and attempts to stimulate renewed interest in research into the steroid hormones and their receptors, which might be used to effect, for example, in combination with the other newer targeted therapies for RCC.
Although primary localised tumours of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) can be treated relatively successfully with surgery, metastatic RCC has poor prognosis because of late diagnosis and resistance to therapies. In the present study, we were interested in profiling the protein expression of "inhibitor of caspase-activated DNase" (ICAD), an apoptosis inhibitor, in kidney cancer and its paired normal kidney. Immunohistochemistry with automated batch staining and morphometry using digital pathology were used to compare ICAD in 121 RCC specimens with their paired normal kidney tissue. Tissue microarray of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded archival tissue was used. Intensity and localisation of ICAD were compared between normal and cancer samples, and against grading within the cancers. The results demonstrated that, in this cohort, ICAD was highly expressed in the proximal tubular epithelium of normal kidney, and significantly decreased in clear cell RCC tissue (p < 0.05) as well as other subtypes of RCC (p < 0.01) compared with normal kidney. There was a tendency towards nuclear localisation of ICAD in clear cell RCC, but not in other subtypes of RCC. No significant association was found between ICAD intensity and grade of RCC. In summary, down-regulation of ICAD occurs in RCC. ICAD normally inhibits DNA fragmentation and apoptosis; thus, its down-regulation was unexpected in a cancer known for its resistance to apoptosis. However, these RCC samples were from primary, not metastatic, RCC sites, and down-regulated ICAD may be part of a progressive pathway that promotes RCC metastasis.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the fifth most common malignancy in kidney transplant recipients, with increased risk arising due to immunosuppression. De novo RCC occurrence in kidney allografts is much less common when compared with the native kidneys. Multifocal RCC in allograft kidneys is rarely described. In this report, we discuss two cases of de novo multifocal renal neoplasms in allograft kidneys. Case 1 had three distinct neoplastic lesions of >5 mm, and case 2 had four. Using the World Health Organization 2016 classification of adult renal tumours, case 1 had one clear-cell (cc) RCC (grade 3) and two papillary adenomas; all confined to the kidney. Case 2 had a nodular lesion classified as ccRCC (grade 4) with focal rhabdoid differentiation and some infiltration of renal sinus fat; a cc tubulopapillary RCC; a multilocular cystic renal neoplasm of low malignant potential; and a mucinous tubular and spindle cell carcinoma; the last three all confined to the kidney. This is the first report of mucinous tubular and spindle cell carcinoma in a kidney allograft. When considering multifocal RCC with discordant histology, it is likely that these represent independent tumourigenic events.
Urological tumors diagnosed during pregnancy are rare. However, the incidence seems to be increasing largely due to advancements in modern imaging techniques and improved antenatal care. The diagnosis and management of renal tumors during pregnancy poses a dilemma to clinicians. This case report highlights the challenges in managing a large chromophobe renal cell carcinoma in a young primigravida patient. Proper antenatal assessment, a multidisciplinary team approach and appropriate discussion with patient are important determinants to achieve the best clinical outcomes for both the mother and the baby.