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Disease Markers
Volume 2015, Article ID 368534, 8 pages
Research Article

Vimentin 3, the New Hope, Differentiating RCC versus Oncocytoma

1Institute of Pathology, University Hospital of Cologne, Kerpenerstraße 62, 50924 Cologne, Germany
2Institute of General, Visceral and Minimal Invasive Surgery, Clinic Northwest, Steinbacher Hohl 2-26, 60488 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
3Institute of Pathology, Helios Clinic Wuppertal, University Clinic Witten-Herdecke, Heusnerstraße 40, 42283 Wuppertal, Germany

Received 24 October 2014; Accepted 3 March 2015

Academic Editor: Claudio Letizia

Copyright © 2015 Melanie von Brandenstein et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vimentin is currently used to differentiate between malignant renal carcinomas and benign oncocytomas. Recent reports showing Vimentin positive oncocytomas seriously question the validity of this present diagnostic approach. Vimentin 3 is a spliced variant and ends with a unique C-terminal ending after exon 7 which differentiates it from the full length version that has 9 exons. Therefore, the protein size is different; the full length Vimentin version has a protein size of ~57 kDa and the truncated version of ~47 kDa. We designed an antibody, called Vim3, against the unique C-terminal ending of the Vimentin 3 variant. Using immune histology, immune fluorescence, Western blot, and qRT-PCR analysis, a Vim3 overexpression was detectable exclusively in oncocytoma, making the detection of Vim3 a potential specific marker for benign kidney tumors. This antibody is the first to clearly differentiate benign oncocytoma and the mimicking eosinophilic variants of the RCCs. This differentiation between malignant and benign RCCs is essential for operative planning, follow-up therapy, and patients’ survival. In the future the usage of Vimentin antibodies in routine pathology has to be applied with care. Consideration must be given to Vimentin specific binding epitopes otherwise a misdiagnosis of the patients’ tumor samples may result.