Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) is a heterogeneous disease with widely different outcomes. We performed a comprehensive transcriptional analysis of 460 early-stage urothelial carcinomas and showed that NMIBC can be subgrouped into three major classes with basal- and luminal-like characteristics and different clinical outcomes. Large differences in biological processes such as the cell cycle, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and differentiation were observed. Analysis of transcript variants revealed frequent mutations in genes encoding proteins involved in chromatin organization and cytoskeletal functions. Furthermore, mutations in well-known cancer driver genes (e.g., TP53 and ERBB2) were primarily found in high-risk tumors, together with APOBEC-related mutational signatures. The identification of subclasses in NMIBC may offer better prognostication and treatment selection based on subclass assignment.
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