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Clin Cancer Res. 2017 Nov 1;23(21):6487-6497. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-1140. Epub 2017 Jul 31.

Circulating Tumor DNA Reveals Clinically Actionable Somatic Genome of Metastatic Bladder Cancer.

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Vancouver Prostate Centre, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada.
Department of Urology, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
Institute of Biosciences and Medical Technology, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
Department of Medical Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency, British Columbia, Canada.
Cross Cancer Institute, Department of Oncology, University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada.
Vancouver Prostate Centre, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada.


Purpose: Targeted agents and immunotherapies promise to transform the treatment of metastatic bladder cancer, but therapy selection will depend on practical tumor molecular stratification. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) is established in several solid malignancies as a minimally invasive tool to profile the tumor genome in real-time, but is critically underexplored in bladder cancer.Experimental Design: We applied a combination of whole-exome sequencing and targeted sequencing across 50 bladder cancer driver genes to plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from 51 patients with aggressive bladder cancer, including 37 with metastatic disease.Results: The majority of patients with metastasis, but only 14% of patients with localized disease, had ctDNA proportions above 2% of total cfDNA (median 16.5%, range 3.9%-72.6%). Twelve percent of estimable samples had evidence of genome hypermutation. We reveal an aggressive mutational landscape in metastatic bladder cancer with 95% of patients harboring deleterious alterations to TP53, RB1, or MDM2, and 70% harboring a mutation or disrupting rearrangement affecting chromatin modifiers such as ARID1A Targetable alterations in MAPK/ERK or PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathways were robustly detected, including amplification of ERBB2 (20% of patients) and activating hotspot mutations in PIK3CA (20%), with the latter mutually exclusive to truncating mutations in TSC1 A novel FGFR3 gene fusion was identified in consecutive samples from one patient.Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that ctDNA provides a practical and cost-effective snapshot of driver gene status in metastatic bladder cancer. The identification of a wide spectrum of clinically informative somatic alterations nominates ctDNA as a tool to dissect disease pathogenesis and guide therapy selection in patients with metastatic bladder cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 23(21); 6487-97. ©2017 AACR.

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