The early diagnosis and monitoring of clear-cell Renal Cell Carcinoma (ccRCC), which is the most common renal malignancy, remains challenging. The late diagnosis and lack of tools that can be used to assess the progression of the disease and metastasis significantly influence the chance of survival of ccRCC patients. Molecular biomarkers have been shown to aid the diagnosis and disease monitoring for other cancers, but such markers are not currently available for ccRCC. Recently, plasma and serum circulating nucleic acids, nucleic acids present in urine, and plasma and urine proteins gained interest in the field of cancer biomarker discovery. Here, the authors describe the applicability of plasma and urine nucleic acids as cancer biomarkers with a particular focus on DNA, small RNA, and protein markers for ccRCC.

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