Researchers in America have recently completed a study that analysed close to 900 kidney cancers at the molecular level. The team discovered that what have historically been considered three major types of kidney cancer according to their characteristics under the microscope (clear cell, papillary and chromophobe), could be further classified into nine major subtypes through molecular analyses. Each subtype was unique in terms of altered molecular pathways and patient survival.
These findings are important because they help pave the way towards more effective personalised medicine. Each kidney cancer has unique characteristics. As a result, different cancers may respond differently to the same treatment. Understanding what makes each kidney cancer unique can help find effective therapies. The nine subtypes discovered by the research team were found to have therapeutic implications.