Molecular confirmation of t(6;11)(p21;q12) renal cell carcinoma in archival paraffin-embedded material using a break-apart TFEB FISH assay expands its clinicopathologic spectrum

Academic Article


  • A subset of renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) is characterized by t(6;11)(p21;q12), which results in fusion of the untranslated Alpha (MALAT1) gene to the TFEB gene. Only 21 genetically confirmed cases of t(6;11) RCCs have been reported. This neoplasm typically demonstrates a distinctive biphasic morphology, comprising larger epithelioid cells and smaller cells clustered around basement membrane material; however, the full spectrum of its morphologic appearances is not known. The t(6;11) RCCs differ from most conventional RCCs in that they consistently express melanocytic immunohistochemical (IHC) markers such as HMB45 and Melan A and the cysteine protease cathepsin K but are often negative for epithelial markers such as cytokeratins. TFEB IHC has been proven to be useful to confirm the diagnosis of t(6;11) RCCs in archival material, because native TFEB is upregulated through promoter substitution by the gene fusion. However, IHC is highly fixation dependent and has been proven to be particularly difficult for TFEB. A validated fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay for molecular confirmation of the t(6;11) RCC in archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded material has not been previously reported. We report herein the development of a break-apart TFEB FISH assay for the diagnosis of t(6;11)(p21;q12) RCCs. We validated the assay on 4 genetically confirmed cases and 76 relevant expected negative control cases and used the assay to report 8 new cases that expand the clinicopathologic spectrum of t(6;11) RCCs. An additional previously reported TFEB IHC-positive case was confirmed by TFEB FISH in 46-year-old archival material. In conclusion, TFEB FISH is a robust, clinically validated assay that can confirm the diagnosis of t(6;11) RCC in archival material and should allow a more comprehensive clinicopathologic delineation of this recently recognized neoplastic entity. Copyright © 2012 by Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.
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    Author List

  • Argani P; Yonescu R; Morsberger L; Morris K; Netto GJ; Smith N; Gonzalez N; Illei PB; Ladanyi M; Griffin CA
  • Start Page

  • 1516
  • End Page

  • 1526
  • Volume

  • 36
  • Issue

  • 10