What Is Chromophobe Renal Cell Carcinoma?

A subtype of "renal cell carcinoma," the most prevalent kind of kidney cancer, is called chromophobe renal cell carcinoma. Compared to those with other forms of kidney cancer, those with this subtype typically have a better prognosis.

The renal tube lining is where chromophobe renal cell cancer forms. These tubes create urine by removing waste from your blood. Rarely does this kind of kidney cancer spread to other tissues; it is typically detected while the cancer is still inside the kidney.

Surgery is typically used to treat chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, the same as other forms of kidney cancer. In cases of advanced-stage cancer, surgery may be used in conjunction with other therapies, such as immunotherapy.

Learn more about chromophobe renal cell carcinoma in this article by reading about its signs and symptoms, possible cures, and prognosis.

What is chromophobe renal cell carcinoma?

About 5–7% of renal cell carcinomas are thought to be chromophobe renal cell carcinomas, according to research estimates. Roughly 90% of kidney malignancies are renal cell carcinomas.

The lining of the tiny tubules in your kidney that filter your blood is where chromophobe renal cell carcinoma forms. It ranks third in frequency among renal cell carcinoma subtypes, after papillary and clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

By using a microscope to examine the appearance of cells, medical professionals can distinguish between various tumours. Renal cell carcinomas with chromophobes frequently have big, pale cells.

Is chromophobe renal cell carcinoma aggressive?

When chromophobe renal cell carcinoma is still contained within the kidney, a diagnosis is typically made. It is less likely than other forms of renal cell carcinoma to spread to other organs.

About 5% of chromophobe renal cell carcinomas contain characteristics that increase the possibility of them spreading to other organs even after they have undergone surgical treatment.

What signs and symptoms are present in renal cell carcinoma with chromophobes?

When chromophobe renal cell carcinoma is detected, many patients show no symptoms. It's possible that the tumour was unintentionally discovered during abdominal imaging for another issue.

Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma patients rarely exhibit the traditional signs and symptoms of the disease. When symptoms do manifest, they could consist of:
  • flank pain
  • blood in urine
  • unintentional weight loss
  • persistent seizure
  • high fever
  • night sweats
  • mass in your side or back
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite

What causes chromophobe renal cell carcinoma and who’s at risk?

Language matters

You'll see that the terminology used to present statistics and other data is somewhat binary, particularly when it comes to the phrases "males" and "females."

It is important to be detailed when reporting on study participants and clinical findings, even though we often avoid using language like this.

Regretfully, neither the data nor the participants who were transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, or genderless were included in the research and surveys cited below.

Although the specific aetiology of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma is unknown, doctors do know that it arises from rapidly multiplying cells due to genetic abnormalities.

Certain gene mutations have been connected to chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, including:
  • TERT
  • PTEN
  • TP53
These mutations don't appear to be related to a family history because they frequently appear to develop sporadically. An increased chance of developing chromophobe renal cell carcinoma is associated with only three rare inherited disorders. These prerequisites are:
  • Birt-Hogg-DubĂ© syndrome
  • Cowden syndrome
  • tuberous sclerosis complex
Compared to other types of renal cell carcinoma, chromophobe renal cell carcinoma typically manifests at a younger age. Males are slightly more likely than females to be diagnosed with this cancer, with an average age of 59 at diagnosis.

How is chromophobe renal cell carcinoma diagnosed?

Physicians employ diverse diagnostic procedures to ascertain the subsequent details:
  • if kidney cancer is present in you
  • the extent to which your cancer has spread
  • which kind of kidney cancer do you now have
The diagnostic examinations could consist of:
  • an examination of your medical history and that of your family
  • physical exam
  • blood test
  • urine test
imaging tests, such as:
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • angiography
  • chest X-ray
  • bone scan
  • ultrasound
Using a procedure known as a "biopsy," in which a tissue sample is taken with a long, thin needle, doctors can distinguish your cancer from other forms of kidney cancer. The sample is brought to a lab where medical professionals use a microscope to examine the cells.

How is chromophobe renal cell carcinoma treated?

Surgery is typically required for the treatment of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma. Surgical alternatives could consist of:
  • Partial nephrectomy is the removal of a portion of the kidney
  • complete nephrectomy, the removal of the kidneys
  • cytoreductive nephrectomy, a palliative kidney removal procedure, is used to treat advanced cancer.
  • lymph nodes in the vicinity are removed (regional lymph node dissection)
Instead of surgery, some tumours less than 3 centimetres (1.2 inches) in diameter may be treated with one of the following methods:
  • cryosurgery
  • microwave ablation
  • radiofrequency ablation
Additional methods for treating cancer that has spread to other organs include:
  • angiogenesis inhibitors
  • mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors
  • immune checkpoint inhibitors

What is the prognosis for renal cell cancer in a chromophobe?

Compared to other forms of renal cell carcinoma, the prognosis for individuals with chromophobe renal cell carcinoma is typically favourable, and the cancer has a minimal chance of spreading to other tissues.

The liver is typically where chromophobe renal cell carcinoma spreads when it happens. It can frequently be cured with surgery alone.

It has been reported that the 5- and 10-year cancer-specific survival rates are 93% and 87%, respectively.

Even when they are surgically removed, about 5% of chromophobe renal cell carcinomas have the potential to spread to other organs.

The survival rates of individuals with chromophobe renal cell carcinoma who have progressed to distant organs are comparable to those of those with other forms of kidney cancer that have also moved to distant organs.

The 5-year relative survival rate for kidney cancer patients in the United States from 2012 to 2018 who had the disease spread to other distant organs was 15%. The number of cancer patients who are still alive after five years, relative to those who do not have the disease, is known as the 5-year relative survival rate.


When compared to other kidney cancer types, those with chromophobe renal cell carcinoma, an uncommon kind, typically have a favourable prognosis. Oftentimes, this type of cancer is identified before symptoms show up.

The standard course of treatment for chromophobe renal cell carcinoma is kidney removal, either partial or total. It is possible to use immunotherapy or other additional treatments to manage late-stage malignancies.


Is chromophobe renal cell carcinoma curable?

many people diagnosed with chromophobe renal cell carcinoma can be completely cured

How fast does chromophobe RCC grow?

0.38 cm

Can chromophobe renal cell carcinoma come back?

Recurrence of surgically resected chRCC is not common

Can you be cured of renal cell carcinoma?

Can frequently be cured if caught early enough to be treated when the condition is still limited to the kidney and its immediate surroundings.

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