Stains & molecular markers
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC)

Editorial Board Member: Christian M. Schürch, M.D., Ph.D.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Maria Tretiakova, M.D., Ph.D.
Chen Yang, M.D.

Last author update: 16 February 2022
Last staff update: 16 February 2022

Copyright: 2003-2024,, Inc.

PubMed Search: RCC marker[TIAB] OR RCC Ma[TIAB]

Chen Yang, M.D.
Page views in 2024 to date: 4,473
Cite this page: Yang C. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC). website. Accessed June 16th, 2024.
Definition / general
  • Anti renal cell carcinoma (RCC) antibodies detect a 200 kD glycoprotein (gp200), which is a surface membrane molecule located on the brush border of proximal renal tubules (Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:1485)
  • Also expressed on the luminal surface of Bowman capsule, parathyroid parenchymal cells and colloid of thyroid follicles
Essential features
  • Also called RCC Ma (renal cell carcinoma marker)
  • RCC was originally identified as a marker of proximal convoluted tubule brush borders and luminal surface of Bowman capsule in 1989 (Cancer Res 1989;49:1802)
  • This scaffolding extracellular matrix protein also known as podocalyxin and represents a human embryonal carcinoma antigen (Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2003;300:285)
  • Membranous stain
Uses by pathologists
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Chen Yang, M.D.
Tumor cells

Tumor cells

Positive staining - normal
  • Brush border of proximal renal tubules
  • Luminal surface of Bowman capsule
  • Parathyroid parenchymal cells and colloid of thyroid follicles
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining
  • Oncocytoma (0/15)
  • Transitional cell carcinoma (0/20)
  • Mesoblastic nephroma (0/3)
  • Cystic nephroma (0/3)
  • Lymphoma (0/8)
  • Angiomyolipoma (0/3)
  • Mixed stromal and epithelial tumor (0/4)
  • Nephroblastoma (0/8)
  • Collecting duct (0%)
  • Reference: Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:1485
Sample pathology report
  • Lymph node, retroperitoneal, biopsy:
    • Metastatic carcinoma, suggestive of renal origin (see comment)
    • Comment: Sections of the retroperitoneal biopsy show the presence of metastatic tumor cells with abundant clear cytoplasm. A panel of immunohistochemistry stains show tumor cells to be positive for CD10 and RCC Ma, while being negative for CK7, CK20, PAX8, CD117 and CAIX. While the immunohistochemistry profile is not entirely concordant with a renal primary, especially with negative PAX8 and CAIX, the positivity of both CD10 and RCC Ma would suggest possibility of renal primary in the context of known history of renal cell carcinoma. Clinical and radiological correlation is recommended.
Board review style question #1

Which of the following renal neoplasms is most likely negative for RCC?

  1. Chromophobe renal cell carcinoma
  2. Clear cell renal cell carcinoma
  3. Collecting duct carcinoma
  4. Papillary renal cell carcinoma
Board review style answer #1
C. Collecting duct carcinoma

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Reference: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC)
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