Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma (chRCC) typically shows ~7 chromosome losses (1, 2, 6, 10, 13, 17, and 21) and ~31 exonic somatic mutations, yet carries ~5%–10% metastatic incidence. Since extensive chromosomal losses can generate proteotoxic stress and compromise cellular proliferation, it is intriguing how chRCC, a tumor with extensive chromosome losses and a low number of somatic mutations, can develop lethal metastases. Genomic features distinguishing metastatic from nonmetastatic chRCC are unknown. An integrated approach, including whole-genome sequencing (WGS), targeted ultradeep cancer gene sequencing, and chromosome analyses (FACETS, OncoScan, and FISH), was performed on 79 chRCC patients including 38 metastatic (M-chRCC) cases. We demonstrate that TP53 mutations (58%), PTEN mutations (24%), and imbalanced chromosome duplication (ICD, duplication of ≥ 3 chromosomes) (25%) were enriched in M-chRCC. Reconstruction of the subclonal composition of paired primary-metastatic chRCC tumors supports the role of TP53, PTEN, and ICD in metastatic evolution. Finally, the presence of these 3 genomic features in primary tumors of both The Cancer Genome Atlas kidney chromophobe (KICH) (n = 64) and M-chRCC (n = 35) cohorts was associated with worse survival. In summary, our study provides genomic insights into the metastatic progression of chRCC and identifies TP53 mutations, PTEN mutations, and ICD as high-risk features.
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