Background: An early report on the molecular subtyping of muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) by gene expression suggested that response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) varies by subtype.
Objective: To investigate the ability of molecular subtypes to predict pathological downstaging and survival after NAC.
Design, setting, and participants: Whole transcriptome profiling was performed on pre-NAC transurethral resection specimens from 343 patients with MIBC. Samples were classified according to four published molecular subtyping methods. We developed a single-sample genomic subtyping classifier (GSC) to predict consensus subtypes (claudin-low, basal, luminal-infiltrated and luminal) with highest clinical impact in the context of NAC. Overall survival (OS) according to subtype was analyzed and compared with OS in 476 non-NAC cases (published datasets).
Intervention: Gene expression analysis was used to assign subtypes.
Outcome measurements and statistical analysis: Receiver-operating characteristics were used to determine the accuracy of GSC. The effect of GSC on survival was estimated by Cox proportional hazard regression models.
Results and limitations: The models generated subtype calls in expected ratios with high concordance across subtyping methods. GSC was able to predict four consensus molecular subtypes with high accuracy (73%), and clinical significance of the predicted consensus subtypes could be validated in independent NAC and non-NAC datasets. Luminal tumors had the best OS with and without NAC. Claudin-low tumors were associated with poor OS irrespective of treatment regimen. Basal tumors showed the most improvement in OS with NAC compared with surgery alone. The main limitations of our study are its retrospective design and comparison across datasets.
Conclusions: Molecular subtyping may have an impact on patient benefit to NAC. If validated in additional studies, our results suggest that patients with basal tumors should be prioritized for NAC. We discovered the first single-sample classifier to subtype MIBC, which may be suitable for integration into routine clinical practice.
Patient summary: Different molecular subtypes can be identified in muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Although cisplatin-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy improves patient outcomes, we identified that the benefit is highest in patients with basal tumors. Our newly discovered classifier can identify these molecular subtypes in a single patient and could be integrated into routine clinical practice after further validation.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Bladder cancer, Molecular subtypes, Neoadjuvant chemotherapy, Response prediction
Persistent URL,
Journal European Urology : Official Journal of the European Association of Urology
Seiler, R. (Roland), Ashab, H.A.D. (Hussam Al Deen), Erho, N. (Nicholas), van Rhijn, B.W, Winters, B. (Brian), Douglas, J. (James), … Black, P.C. (2017). Impact of Molecular Subtypes in Muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer on Predicting Response and Survival after Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy. European Urology : Official Journal of the European Association of Urology. doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2017.03.030