NCI Definition: A malignant tumor arising from epithelial cells. Carcinomas that arise from glandular epithelium are called adenocarcinomas, those that arise from squamous epithelium are called squamous cell carcinomas, and those that arise from transitional epithelium are called transitional cell carcinomas. Morphologically, the malignant epithelial cells may display abnormal mitotic figures, anaplasia, and necrosis. Carcinomas are graded by the degree of cellular differentiation as well, moderately, or poorly differentiated. Carcinomas invade the surrounding tissues and tend to metastasize to other anatomic sites. Lung carcinoma, skin carcinoma, breast carcinoma, colon carcinoma, and prostate carcinoma are the most frequently seen carcinomas. [1]

Carcinomas most frequently harbor alterations in TP53, APC, KRAS, PIK3CA, and KMT2D [2].

Most Commonly Altered Genes in Carcinoma

TP53 Mutation, TP53 Missense, TP53 c.217-c.1178 Missense, APC Mutation, and KRAS Mutation are the most common alterations in carcinoma [2].

Top Alterations in Carcinoma

Significant Genes in Carcinoma


MLH1 +

MLH3 +

MSH2 +

MSH3 +

MSH6 +

PMS1 +

PMS2 +

Disease Details

CARCINOMA, MALIGNANT, Epithelial Carcinoma, Malignant Epithelial Neoplasm, Malignant Epithelioma, Carcinoma, NOS, Malignant Epithelial Tumor, Epithelioma Malignant
Cell Type Cancer
Neuroendocrine Carcinoma, Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma, Choroid Plexus Carcinoma, Poorly Differentiated Carcinoma, NOS, Thyroid Gland Carcinoma, Retroperitoneal Carcinoma, Lipid-Rich Carcinoma, Ovarian Carcinoma, Pleomorphic Carcinoma, Endometrial Carcinoma, Vulvar/Vaginal Carcinoma, Acinar Cell Carcinoma, Head and Neck Carcinoma, Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma, Large Cell Carcinoma, Kidney Carcinoma, Bladder Carcinoma, Adenosquamous Carcinoma, Metaplastic Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Transitional Cell Carcinoma, Cervical Carcinoma, Lung Carcinoma, Digestive System Carcinoma, Carcinoma In Situ, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, Tracheal Carcinoma, Urethral Carcinoma, Papillary Carcinoma, Sarcomatoid Carcinoma, Undifferentiated Carcinoma, Breast Carcinoma, Thymic Carcinoma, Granular Cell Carcinoma, Malignant Myoepithelioma, Adrenal Cortex Carcinoma, Skin Carcinoma, Prostate Carcinoma, Ureter Carcinoma, Adenocarcinoma, and Metastatic Carcinoma in the Adrenal Medulla


1. National Cancer Institute. NCI Thesaurus Version 18.11d. https://ncit.nci.nih.gov/ncitbrowser/ [2018-08-28]. [2018-09-21].

2. The AACR Project GENIE Consortium. AACR Project GENIE: powering precision medicine through an international consortium. Cancer Discovery. 2017;7(8):818-831. Dataset Version 6. This dataset does not represent the totality of the genetic landscape; see paper for more information.

3. All assertions and clinical trial landscape data are curated from primary sources. You can read more about the curation process here.