Background: Bladder cancer (BC) is the 9th most common cancer diagnosis worldwide. Low grade (LG) represents 70% of all BCs, characterized by recurrence and rare ability (10-15%) to progress to high grade (HG) and invade. The remaining 30% is high grade (HG), fast invasive BC, which is resistant to therapy. Identifying biomarkers for predicting those tumors able to progress is a key goal for patient outcome improvement. This study focuses on the most promising prognostic markers.
Materials and methods: TP53 and FGFR3 mutational status, Survivin, CK19, CK20, E-cadherin and CD44 gene expression analysis were performed on 66 BCs.
Results: Survivin was found associated to tumor grade (p<0.05). Moreover, Survivin correlated with CD44 in TP53 wild type (p = 0.0242) and FGFR3 wild type (p = 0.0036) tumors. In particular the Survivin-CD44 correlation was associated to HG FGFR3 wild type BCs (p = 0.0045). Unsupervised hierarchical clustering based on gene expression data identified four distinct molecular groups reflecting the patient histology (p = 0.038).
Conclusion: We suggest Survivin, both as a biomarker associated to G3 BCs but negatively related to TP53 mutational status, and as a potential novel therapeutic target.