Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma with Sarcomatoid Differentiation: Clinicopathologic Correlation and Molecular Findings

Alcino Gama*, Haoliang Xu, Ximing J. Yang, Bonnie Choy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Sarcomatoid differentiation has been reported in approximately 8% of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and is associated with a worse prognosis. We aim to describe the clinicopathologic and molecular findings of chromophobe RCC with sarcomatoid differentiation. Methods: Surgical pathology database was searched to identify chromophobe RCC with sarcomatoid differentiation from January 2015 to December 2021. Results: Five patients were diagnosed with chromophobe RCC with sarcomatoid differentiation. The median age at the time of diagnosis was 57 years (range 51-61 years). Three patients died after median follow-up of 12.1 months (range 1.6-18.2 months). The median tumor size was 10.7 cm (range 5.6-13.6 cm). The median percentage of sarcomatoid component was 60% (range 10-90%), and the median percentage of necrosis was 30% (range 10-50%). One tumor demonstrated osteoid formation. PAX8, keratin 7, KIT (CD117), and Hale colloidal iron were positive in the epithelial component, whereas the sarcomatoid component was positive for vimentin, CD10, and high Ki67 proliferative index. Molecular testing was performed in three specimens: all were TP53 mutated and microsatellite stable. One aggressive tumor had RB1 frameshift mutation and copy number gains for TERT and CUL4A. Conclusion: Chromophobe RCC with sarcomatoid differentiation is a rare entity with aggressive behavior. Percentage of sarcomatoid component, necrosis, and the occurrence of metastasis is associated with worse prognosis. Molecular profiling reveals frequent TP53 mutation. While TERT promoter mutation has no prognostic implication, FLCN inactivation may be associated with a less aggressive course. The clinical significance of RB1 loss is unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • chromophobe
  • molecular
  • renal cell carcinoma
  • sarcomatoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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