A diverse range of clinical phenotypes are observed in clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) with resultant therapeutic implications. Molecular characterisation underpinning the diversity observed has been qualified, where the near ubiquitous loss of the short arm of chromosome 3 precedes distinct evolutionary trajectories involving different sequences and combinations of genetic events. Primary tumours are characterised by varying degrees of intratumoural heterogeneity and chromosomal complexity associated with distinct metastatic phenotypes. An evolutionary understanding reconciles the diverse clinical phenotypes observed in metastatic ccRCC and has the potential to impact patient management. PATIENT SUMMARY: Re-tracing the evolutionary paths taken by clear-cell kidney cancer through analyses at the gene level gives an insight into genetic changes that are correlated to metastatic potential. This may provide a framework to guide therapeutic interventions, especially in identifying candidates for surgical intervention.Crown Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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