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Int J Cancer. 2004 Jul 20;110(6):850-6.

Pathways of urothelial cancer progression suggested by Bayesian network analysis of allelotyping data.

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  • 1Division Intelligent Bioinformatics Systems, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


Urothelial cancers of the bladder (UC) comprise biologically heterogeneous group of tumors and display complex genetic alterations. Several genetic changes have been analyzed in detail and some of them are associated with the development and progression of UCs. Only a few studies, however, are focused on identifying the order in which the aberrations may appear during UC tumorigenesis. We have analyzed 123 papillary UCs of the bladder by microsatellites for each of the chromosomal regions that have been suggested to be specifically involved in this type of tumor. We used Bayesian network modeling that enables to uncover multivariate probabilistic dependencies between variables. This methodology applied to LOH data allowed us to discover patterns of losses in UCs. Exploiting the mechanism of probabilistic reasoning in Bayesian networks we suggest primary and secondary events in tumor pathogenesis and reconstruct the possible flow of progression of allelic changes. Losses of chromosome 9p and 9q were found to be the primary events. Losses of 8p and 17p are important events leading to progression of tumor cell clones. The loss of 17p occurs when both abnormalities of chromosome 9 and 8p are already present. There are chromosomal losses related to 8p (1q, 18q, 10q) and some losses like 5q/5p were associated with 17p, leading to the hypothesis of different genetic pathways of UC progression. The abnormalities of chromosome regions 13q, 16q, 6q, 14q, 3p are suggested to be late events being accumulated during the progression of cancer. Although some genetic changes were associated only with the 8p pathway, most secondary genetic changes appear in both pathways. Supplementary material for this article can be found on the International Journal of Cancer website at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/jpages/0020-7136/suppmat/index.html.

Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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