Practical molecular testing in a clinical genitourinary service

Martin J. Magers, Liang Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Context.—Molecular testing is increasingly playing a key role in the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of neoplasms of the genitourinary system. Objective.—To provide a general overview of the clinically relevant molecular tests available for neoplasms of the genitourinary tract. Data Sources.—Relevant medical literature indexed on PubMed. Conclusions.—Understanding of the molecular oncology of genitourinary neoplasms is rapidly advancing, and the pathologist must be aware of the practical implications of molecular testing. While many genomic abnormalities are not yet clinically relevant, there is an increasing library of ancillary tests that may guide diagnosis, prognosis, and/or treatment of many neoplasms. Recurrent genomic abnormalities have been identified in many types of renal cell carcinoma, and some types of renal cell carcinoma are specifically defined by the molecular abnormality. Two major routes of developing urothelial carcinoma have been molecularly described. Recurrent translocations involving ETS family genes are found in approximately half of prostate cancer cases. Testicular germ cell tumors typically harbor i(12p). Penile neoplasms are often high-risk human papillomavirus–driven cancers. Nonetheless, even as genitourinary neoplasms are increasingly better understood at the molecular level, further research with eventual clinical validation is needed for optimal diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of aggressive malignancies in the genitourinary tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-289
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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