Liquid Biopsy Biomarkers for Predicting Post-Radical Cystectomy Recurrence in Bladder Cancers

By Patrick Daly - Last Updated: March 21, 2022

Radical cystectomy is the recommended treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer and aggressive non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. However, a highly accurate predictive biomarker for cancer recurrence in patients who underwent a radical cystectomy has not been identified. In a study published in the International Journal of Urology researchers presented their experience in developing a model for the prediction of bladder cancer recurrence post-radical cystectomy by combining serum microRNA with a pathological factor. The study’s lead author, Fumihiko Urabe, MD, reported that the combination of serum microRNA expression profiles and lymph node parameters was “useful for the prediction of oncological outcomes after radical cystectomy in patients with bladder cancer.”

Dr. Urabe and collaborating Japanese researchers retrospectively reviewed clinical record of 81 patients with bladder cancer who had undergoing radical cystectomy between 2008 and 2016. After dividing the patients into a training dataset (n = 41) and a validation dataset (n = 40), the authors used Fisher linear discriminant analysis to develop the prognostic model for future cancer recurrence.

Among the full study cohort, 31 patients experienced recurrence after receiving a radical cystectomy. The prognostic model was based on the combination of three microRNAs—miR-23a-3p, miR-3679-3p, and miR-3195—and positive pathological lymph node status. In the validation phase, the prognostic model was estimated to have a sensitivity of 0.87, a specificity of 0.80, and an area under the receiver operating curve of 0.88 (0.77–0.98), supporting the model’s prognostic viability.

Once Kaplan-Meier analysis determined that patients with a low prediction index had significantly longer overall survival than patients with a high prediction index (p = 0.041), Dr. Urabe and colleagues concluded that the combined evaluation of serum microRNA and lymph node statuses could assist clinical decision-making in patients with bladder cancer.

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