Among the adult population, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) constitutes the most prevalent form of kidney neoplasm. Unfortunately, RCC is relatively asymptomatic and there are no tumor markers available for diagnostic, prognostic or predictive purposes. Molecular profiling, the global analysis of gene and protein expression profiles, is an emerging promising tool for new biomarker identification in RCC. In this review, we summarize the existing knowledge on RCC regarding clinical presentation, treatment options, and tumor marker status. We present a general overview of the more commonly used approaches for molecular profiling at the genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic levels. We also highlight the emerging role of molecular profiling as not only revolutionizing the process of new tumor marker discovery, but also for providing a better understanding of the pathogenesis of RCC that will pave the way towards new targeted therapy discovery. Furthermore, we discuss the spectrum of clinical applications of molecular profiling in RCC in the current literature. Finally, we highlight some of the potential challenging that faces the era of molecular profiling and its transition into clinical practice, and provide an insight about the future perspectives of molecular profiling in RCC
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