Alignment of molecular subtypes across multiple bladder cancer subtyping classifiers

Moritz J. Reike*, Joep J. de Jong, Tarek A. Bismar, Stephen A. Boorjian, Omar Y. Mian, Jonathan L. Wright, Marc A. Dall'Era, Hristros Z. Kaimakliotis, Yair Lotan, Joost L. Boormans, Peter C. Black, Ewan A. Gibb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Treatment of patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) includes cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) followed by radical cystectomy (RC). Molecular subtypes have been associated with patient outcomes after NAC and RC, but the reported results have been highly inconsistent. Objective: To evaluate the association of molecular subtypes from different classifiers with overall survival (OS) among patients with MIBC who underwent RC. Materials and methods: We analyzed gene expression data generated from transurethral resection of MIBC from a previously assembled and published meta-cohort, NACmeta (N = 601, 247 treated with NAC+RC and 354 RC without NAC), where extended follow-up was available. Molecular subtypes were assigned using the Genomic Subtyping Classifier (GSC), the Consensus Classifier, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Classifier, and the Lund Classifier. For survival analysis, inverse probability weighting was used to balance the clinical NAC and non-NAC patient groups. Results: A high consistency in gene expression patterns and nomenclature was observed between luminal-like subtypes, defined as GSC-Luminal, Consensus-Luminal Papillary (LumP), TCGA Luminal-Papillary (LumP) and Lund-UroA, but not for basal-like subtypes such GSC-Basal, Consensus Basal/Squamous, TCGA-Basal/Squamous and Lund-Basal/Squamous. Patients with luminal-like subtypes demonstrated no difference in 3-year OS when treated with or without NAC (P = 0.7 for GSC, P = 0.94 for Consensus, P = 0.87 for TCGA and P = 0.66 for Lund-UroA, respectively). Conclusion: Luminal-like molecular subtypes identify a subgroup of MIBC patients who do not appear to benefit from current NAC regimens, even for locally advanced disease. In addition, we were able to illustrate differences in subtyping nomenclature that are not reflected in the underlying biological definition of the subtypes. Patient summary: Muscle-invasive bladder cancer exhibits molecular diversity, and various classifications identify different groups who do not benefit from chemotherapy. On the other hand, there is a high inconsistency in the way cancer groupings are named.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177.e5-177.e14
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

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