Clinical and Genomic Characterization of Bladder Carcinomas With Glandular Phenotype

JCO Precis Oncol. 2022 Jun:6:e2100392. doi: 10.1200/PO.21.00392.


Purpose: To compare oncologic outcomes and genomic alteration profiles in patients with bladder and urachal adenocarcinoma, urothelial carcinoma (UC) with glandular differentiation, and UC, not otherwise specified (NOS) undergoing surgical resection, with emphasis on response to systemic therapy.

Methods: We identified patients with bladder cancer with glandular variants who underwent surgical resection at Memorial Sloan Kettering from 1995 to 2018 (surgical cohort) and/or patients who had tumor sequencing using a targeted next-generation sequencing platform (genomics cohort). Pathologic complete and partial response rates to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) and recurrence-free and cancer-specific survival were measured. Alteration frequencies between histologic subtypes were compared.

Results: Thirty-seven patients with bladder adenocarcinoma, 46 with urachal adenocarcinoma, 84 with UC with glandular differentiation, and 1,049 with UC, NOS comprised the surgical cohort. Despite more advanced disease in patients with bladder and urachal adenocarcinoma, no significant differences in recurrence or cancer-specific survival by histology were observed after adjusting for stage. In patients with UC with glandular differentiation, NAC resulted in partial (≤ pT1N0) and complete (pT0N0) responses in 28% and 17%, respectively. Bladder and urachal adenocarcinoma genomic profiles resembled colorectal adenocarcinoma with frequent TP53, KRAS, and PIK3CA alterations while the genomic profile of UC with glandular differentiation more closely resembled UC, NOS. Limitations include retrospective nature of analysis and small numbers of nonurothelial histology specimens.

Conclusion: The genomic profile of bladder adenocarcinomas resembled colorectal adenocarcinomas, whereas UC with glandular differentiation more closely resembled UC, NOS. Differences in outcomes among patients with glandular bladder cancer variants undergoing surgical resection were largely driven by differences in stage. Cisplatin-based NAC demonstrated activity in UC with glandular differentiation, suggesting NAC should be considered for this histologic variant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell* / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Genomics / methods
  • Humans
  • Phenotype
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urinary Bladder / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms* / genetics

Supplementary concepts

  • Urachal adenocarcinoma