Renal medullary carcinoma, also known as RMC, is a rare cancer of the kidney that mainly afflicts young people of African descent who carry the sickle cell trait, sickle cell disease, or other sickle hemoglobinopathies that can cause sickling of the red blood cells.

Renal cell carcinoma, unclassified with medullary phenotype (RCCU-MP) is a very rare subtype of RMC that occurs in people who do not carry any sickle hemoglobinopathies.

All RMC and RCCU-MP tumors characteristically do not express a protein called INI1, also known as SMARCB1, hSNF5, or BAF47. Accordingly, the 5th edition of the WHO Classification of Urinary and Male Genital Tumours (2022) has renamed RMC to SMARCB1-deficient renal medullary carcinoma (SMARCB1-deficient RMC).

Most patients with RMC are young and the cancer will most often have spread to the lymph nodes or other organs by the time it is diagnosed. RMC is twice more likely to occur in men than women, and in the right kidney compared with the left. The most common symptoms are blood in the urine and pain on the kidney side. RMC is treated with chemotherapy, surgery (when feasible), and sometimes radiation therapy. The exact cause of RMC is not fully understood.

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