Development of a Single Molecule Counting Assay to Differentiate Chromophobe Renal Cancer and Oncocytoma in Clinics

Khaled Bin Satter, Zach Ramsey, Paul M.H. Tran, Diane Hopkins, Gregory Bearden, Katherine P. Richardson, Martha K. Terris, Natasha M. Savage, Sravan K. Kavuri, Sharad Purohit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Malignant chromophobe renal cancer (chRCC) and benign oncocytoma (RO) are two renal tumor types difficult to differentiate using histology and immunohistochemistry-based methods because of their similarity in appearance. We previously developed a transcriptomics-based classification pipeline with “Chromophobe-Oncocytoma Gene Signature” (COGS) on a single-molecule counting platform. Renal cancer patients (n = 32, chRCC = 17, RO = 15) were recruited from Augusta University Medical Center (AUMC). Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks from their excised tumors were collected. We created a custom single-molecule counting code set for COGS to assay RNA from FFPE blocks. Utilizing hematoxylin-eosin stain, pathologists were able to correctly classify these tumor types (91.8%). Our unsupervised learning with UMAP (Uniform manifold approximation and projection, accuracy = 0.97) and hierarchical clustering (accuracy = 1.0) identified two clusters congruent with their histology. We next developed and compared four supervised models (random forest, support vector machine, generalized linear model with L2 regularization, and supervised UMAP). Supervised UMAP has shown to classify all the cases correctly (sensitivity = 1, specificity = 1, accuracy = 1) followed by random forest models (sensitivity = 0.84, specificity = 1, accuracy = 1). This pipeline can be used as a clinical tool by pathologists to differentiate chRCC from RO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3242
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • chromophobe
  • classification
  • kidney neoplasms
  • oncocytoma
  • supervised machine learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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