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Am J Pathol. 2020 Feb;190(2):442-452. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2019.10.018. Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Amplification of 7p12 Is Associated with Pathologic Nonresponse to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer.

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Department of Urology, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria. Electronic address:
Department of Urology, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
Department of Pathology, Hôspital Tenon, HUEP, Sorbonne University, Paris, France.
Pathology Laboratory Obrist and Brunhuber, Zams, Austria.
Department of Pathology, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
Department of Urology, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany.
Department of Urology, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria. Electronic address:
Department of Internal Medicine V, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria; Tyrolean Cancer Research Institute, Innsbruck, Austria.


Pathologic downstaging (pDS) to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) is one of the most important predictors of survival in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). The use of NAC is limited as pDS is only achieved in 30% to 40% of cases and predictive biomarkers are still lacking. We performed a comprehensive immunomolecular biomarker analysis to characterize the role of immune cells and inhibitory checkpoints, genome-wide frequencies of copy number alterations, mutational signatures in whole exome, and tumor mutational burden in predicting NAC response. Our retrospective study included 23 primary MIBC patients who underwent NAC, followed by radical cystectomy. pDS to NAC was a significant prognostic factor for better recurrence-free survival (P < 0.001), with a median time to recurrence of 41.2 versus 5.5 months in nonresponders. DNA damage repair alterations were noticed in 38.1% (n = 8), confirming a positive correlation with high tumor mutational burden (P = 0.007). Chromosomal 7p12 amplification, including the genes HUS1, EGFR, ABCA13, and IKZF1, predicted nonresponse in patients with a sensitivity, a negative predictive value, and a specificity of 71.4%, 87.5%, and 100%, respectively. Total count of CD3+ T cells/mm2 tumor was a significant predictor of NAC response. In conclusion, 7p12 amplification may predict nonresponse to NAC and worse survival in MIBC. Multicenter, prospective trials with sufficient statistical power may further fortify these findings.

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