Research Papers:

Genetic variants in the inflammation pathway as predictors of recurrence and progression in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer treated with Bacillus Calmette–Guérin

Stephen B. Williams, Ashish M. Kamat, Chinedu Mmeje, Yuanquing Ye, Maosheng Huang, David W. Chang, Colin P. Dinney and Xifeng Wu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:88782-88791. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21222

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Stephen B. Williams1,2, Ashish M. Kamat1, Chinedu Mmeje1, Yuanquing Ye3, Maosheng Huang3, David W. Chang3, Colin P. Dinney1 and Xifeng Wu3

1Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

2Division of Urology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA

3Department of Epidemiology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA

Correspondence to:

Xifeng Wu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: polymorphisms, inflammation, bladder cancer, BCG, clinical outcome

Received: December 15, 2016     Accepted: August 02, 2017     Published: September 23, 2017


Inflammation plays a critical role in the etiology of several cancers and may affect their clinical outcome. Our objective was to assess the association of genetic variants within the inflammation pathway with recurrence and progression among non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) patients with or without Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) treatment. We genotyped 372 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 27 selected genes within the inflammation pathway in 349 patients diagnosed with NMIBC, followed by internal validation in 322 additional patients. We used Cox proportional hazards regression analyses to identify SNPs as predictors for recurrence and progression. In the discovery phase, we identified 20 variants that were significantly associated with recurrence outcomes and 15 SNPs significantly associated with progression in patients treated with BCG but not in the transurethral resection (TUR)-only group. In BCG treated patients, rs7089861 was the only SNP significantly associated with risk of progression in both the discovery phase (Hazard Ratio [HR]=3.15, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.38-7.22, P<0.01) and validation phase (HR=3.84, 95% CI: 1.64-9.0, P=0.002; meta-analysis HR=3.47, 95% CI: 1.92-6.28, P<0.001). Two variants, rs1800686 and rs2071081, had probable association with HRs of the same trend in the discovery and validation groups (meta-analysis P=0.002). These findings supported the notion that genetic variation of inflammation pathway may impact clinical outcome of NMIBC patients treated with BCG immunotherapy. Further validation of these results in order to improve risk stratification to identify patients most likely to benefit from BCG treatment versus upfront radical cystectomy and future development of potential targeted therapies are warranted.

Significance Statement: In a two-stage study, we identified several genetic variants in the inflammation pathway associated with recurrence and progression in early-stage bladder cancer. In particular, variant rs7089861 was validated for progression among patients who underwent BCG immunotherapy. Several other variants showed marginal association with recurrence or progression. These findings suggest that inflammatory pathway genetic variants may influence clinical outcome of bladder cancer patients and help to select patients most appropriate for BCG treatment.

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