Will the Use of Biomarkers Improve Bladder Cancer Radiotherapy Delivery?

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2021 Jun;33(6):e264-e273. doi: 10.1016/j.clon.2021.03.017. Epub 2021 Apr 16.


Advances in the field of cancer biology and molecular techniques have led to a better understanding of the molecular underpinnings driving cancer development and outcomes. Simultaneously, advances in imaging have allowed for improved sensitivity in initial staging, radiotherapy planning and follow-up of numerous cancers. These two phenomena have led to the development of biomarkers that can guide therapy in multiple malignancies. In bladder cancer, there is extensive ongoing research into the identification of biomarkers that can help tailor personalised approaches for treatment based on the intrinsic tumour biology. However, the delivery of bladder cancer radiotherapy as part of trimodality therapy currently has a paucity of biomarkers to guide treatment. Here we summarise the existing literature and ongoing investigations into potential predictive and prognostic molecular and imaging biomarkers that may one day guide selection for utilisation of radiotherapy as part of trimodality therapy, guide selection of the radiosensitising agent, guide radiation dose and target, and guide surveillance for recurrence after trimodality therapy.

Keywords: Biomarkers; bladder cancer; genomics; radiotherapy; trimodality therapy.