Published in

MDPI, Cancers, 7(12), p. 1784, 2020

DOI: 10.3390/cancers12071784



Export citation

Search in Google Scholar

Immunohistochemistry-Based Taxonomical Classification of Bladder Cancer Predicts Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

Full text: Download

Green circle
Preprint: archiving allowed
Green circle
Postprint: archiving allowed
Green circle
Published version: archiving allowed
Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Background: Platinum-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) increases the survival of patients with organ-confined urothelial bladder cancer (UBC). In retrospective studies, patients with basal/squamous (BASQ)-like tumors present with more advanced disease and have worse prognosis. Transcriptomics-defined tumor subtypes are associated with response to NAC. Aim: To investigate whether immunohistochemical (IHC) subtyping predicts NAC response. Methods: Patients with muscle-invasive UBC having received platinum-based NAC were identified. Tissue microarrays were used to type tumors for KRT5/6, KRT14, GATA3, and FOXA1. Outcomes: progression-free survival and disease-specific survival; univariable and multivariate Cox regression models were applied. Results: We found a very high concordance between mRNA and protein expression. Using IHC-based hierarchical clustering, we classified 126 tumors in three subgroups: BASQ-like (FOXA1/GATA3 low; KRT5/6/14 high), Luminal-like (FOXA1/GATA3 high; KRT5/6/14 low), and mixed-cluster (FOXA1/GATA3 high; KRT5/6 high; KRT14 low). Applying multivariable analyses, patients with BASQ-like tumors were more likely to achieve a pathological response to NAC (OR 3.96; p = 0.017). The clinical benefit appeared reflected in the lack of significant survival differences between patients with BASQ-like and luminal tumors. Conclusions: Patients with BASQ-like tumors—identified through simple and robust IHC—have a higher likelihood of undergoing a pathological complete response to NAC. Prospective validation is required.