In recent years, immunohistochemical protein expression was studied as a surrogate to the molecular classification of bladder cancer, although no tissue biomarkers are available for clinical use to predict survival or the response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (CT) in UC, as the literature produced conflicting results. This retrospective study included TURB specimens harboring foci of HG pT2 muscle-invasive bladder carcinoma (MIBC) from 251 patients who subsequently underwent radical cystectomy. We performed immunohistochemical analysis on tumor samples, for relevant gene-expression-based markers for basal type (CD44, CK5/6) and luminal type (CK20 and pPARγ). Piescore, investigated in both non-muscle-invasive (NMI) and muscle-invasive (MI) components of the tumor, divided basal and luminal UC-types when at least three of the four markers were consistent with a specific phenotype, mixed types if one/two luminal and basal markers were present simultaneously, and neu-like types when all four markers investigated were negative. Eighteen selected cases were also investigated with RT-PCR to validate, and to increase the specificity of, the immunohistochemical results. We observe an immunophenotypical difference in the NMI and MI components in 96/251 UC patients (38.25%): half of tumors (44/96 cases) have a transition to basal, 36.46% (35/96 cases) to neu-like, 12.5% (12/96 cases) to mixed, and 5.2% (5/96 cases) to luminal phenotypes. Mixed tumors in the NMI component are more likely to change phenotype than other groups, particularly compared with basal tumors, which demonstrate greater stability (only 8/96 cases, p < 0.00001). The transition of luminal tumors to basal display a better OS compared with the transition toward neu-like tumors (p = 0.027). Overall, the phenotypical switch does not affect lymphovascular invasion, pT, DFS, or OS compared with non-switched cases. In the MI component, the presence of CD44 expression, irrespective of score-related phenotype, shows a protective effect in papillary-type UC (OS p = 0.008, HR 0.453, PFS p = 0.07, HR 0.599), and in UC naïve for CT (p = 0.0479). Piescore immunophenotyping reveals an intratumoral phenotypical transition between the NMI and MI components of the same tumor. The molecular change is a common event in the mixed and luminal categories, but not in basal tumors, which show better phenotypical stability. This phenomenon could partially explain the sensitivity of a subset of luminal UC to chemotherapy: good responders could be "non-real" luminal UC, which acquire nasal markers, such as CD44.

Intratumoral Switch of Molecular Phenotype and Overall Survival in Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Zucali, Paolo Andrea;Guazzoni, Giorgio;Terracciano, Luigi Maria;Colombo, Piergiuseppe
2022

Abstract

In recent years, immunohistochemical protein expression was studied as a surrogate to the molecular classification of bladder cancer, although no tissue biomarkers are available for clinical use to predict survival or the response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (CT) in UC, as the literature produced conflicting results. This retrospective study included TURB specimens harboring foci of HG pT2 muscle-invasive bladder carcinoma (MIBC) from 251 patients who subsequently underwent radical cystectomy. We performed immunohistochemical analysis on tumor samples, for relevant gene-expression-based markers for basal type (CD44, CK5/6) and luminal type (CK20 and pPARγ). Piescore, investigated in both non-muscle-invasive (NMI) and muscle-invasive (MI) components of the tumor, divided basal and luminal UC-types when at least three of the four markers were consistent with a specific phenotype, mixed types if one/two luminal and basal markers were present simultaneously, and neu-like types when all four markers investigated were negative. Eighteen selected cases were also investigated with RT-PCR to validate, and to increase the specificity of, the immunohistochemical results. We observe an immunophenotypical difference in the NMI and MI components in 96/251 UC patients (38.25%): half of tumors (44/96 cases) have a transition to basal, 36.46% (35/96 cases) to neu-like, 12.5% (12/96 cases) to mixed, and 5.2% (5/96 cases) to luminal phenotypes. Mixed tumors in the NMI component are more likely to change phenotype than other groups, particularly compared with basal tumors, which demonstrate greater stability (only 8/96 cases, p < 0.00001). The transition of luminal tumors to basal display a better OS compared with the transition toward neu-like tumors (p = 0.027). Overall, the phenotypical switch does not affect lymphovascular invasion, pT, DFS, or OS compared with non-switched cases. In the MI component, the presence of CD44 expression, irrespective of score-related phenotype, shows a protective effect in papillary-type UC (OS p = 0.008, HR 0.453, PFS p = 0.07, HR 0.599), and in UC naïve for CT (p = 0.0479). Piescore immunophenotyping reveals an intratumoral phenotypical transition between the NMI and MI components of the same tumor. The molecular change is a common event in the mixed and luminal categories, but not in basal tumors, which show better phenotypical stability. This phenomenon could partially explain the sensitivity of a subset of luminal UC to chemotherapy: good responders could be "non-real" luminal UC, which acquire nasal markers, such as CD44.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11699/68943
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