Advanced urothelial carcinoma: next-generation sequencing reveals diverse genomic alterations and targets of therapy

Mod Pathol. 2014 Feb;27(2):271-80. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2013.135. Epub 2013 Jul 26.


Although urothelial carcinoma (UC) of the urinary bladder generally portends a favorable prognosis, metastatic tumors often follow an aggressive clinical course. DNA was extracted from 40 μm of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) sections from 35 stage IV UCs that had relapsed and progressed after primary surgery and conventional chemotherapy. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) was performed on hybridization-captured, adaptor ligation-based libraries for 3320 exons of 182 cancer-related genes plus 37 introns from 14 genes frequently rearranged in cancer to at an average sequencing depth of 1164 × and evaluated for all classes of genomic alterations (GAs). Actionable GAs were defined as those impacting the selection of targeted anticancer therapies on the market or in registered clinical trials. A total of 139 GAs were identified, with an average of 4.0 GAs per tumor (range 0-10), of which 78 (56%) were considered actionable, with an average of 2.2 per tumor (range 0-7). Twenty-nine (83%) cases harbored at least one actionable GA including: PIK3CA (9 cases; 26%); CDKN2A/B (8 cases; 23%); CCND1 (5 cases; 14%); FGFR1 (5 cases; 14%); CCND3 (4 cases; 11%); FGFR3 (4 cases; 11%); MCL1 (4 cases; 11%); MDM2 (4 cases; 11%); EGFR (2 cases, 6%); ERBB2 (HER2/neu) (2 cases, 6%); NF1 (2 cases, 6%) and TSC1 (2 cases, 6%). Notable additional alterations included TP53 (19 cases, 54%) and RB1 (6 cases; 17%). Genes involved in chromatin modification were altered by nonsense mutation, splice site mutation or frameshift indel in a mutually exclusive manner in nearly half of all cases including KDM6A (10 cases; 29%) and ARID1A (7 cases; 20%). Comprehensive NGS of 35 UCs of the bladder revealed a diverse spectrum of actionable GAs in 83% of cases, which has the potential to inform treatment decisions for patients with relapsed and metastatic disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / genetics*
  • Female
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics*