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The present systematic review aimed to identify prognostic values of tissue-based biomarkers in patients treated with neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NAST), including chemotherapy (NAC) and checkpoint inhibitors (NAI) for urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB). The PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus databases were searched in August 2020 according to the PRISMA statement. Studies were deemed eligible if they compared oncologic or pathologic outcomes in patients treated with NAST for UCB with and without detected pretreatment tissue-based biomarkers. Overall, 44 studies met our eligibility criteria. Twenty-three studies used immunohistochemistry (IHC), 19 - gene expression analysis, three - quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QT PCR), and two - next-generation sequencing (NGS). According to the currently available literature, predictive IHC-assessed biomarkers, such as receptor tyrosine kinases and DNA repair pathway alterations, do not seem to convincingly improve our prediction of pathologic response and oncologic outcomes after NAC. Luminal and basal tumor subtypes based on gene expression analysis showed better NAC response, while claudin-low and luminal-infiltrated tumor subtypes did not. In terms of NAI, PD-L1 seems to maintain value as a predictive biomarker, while the utility of both tumor mutational burden and molecular subtypes remains controversial. Specific genomic alterations in DNA repair genes have been shown to provide significant predictive value in patient treated with NAC. QT PCR quantification of specific genes selected through microarray analysis seems to classify cases regarding their NAC response. We believe that the present systematic review may offer a robust framework that will enable the testing and validation of predictive biomarkers in future prospective clinical trials. NGS has expanded the discovery of molecular markers that are reflective of the mechanisms of the NAST response. Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Ekaterina Laukhtina, Benjamin Pradere, Keiichiro Mori, Victor M Schuettfort, Fahad Quhal, Hadi Mostafaei, Reza Sari Motlangh, Satoshi Katayama, Nico C Grossmann, Marco Moschini, Dmitry Enikeev, Shahrokh F Shariat, European Association of Urology—Young Academic Urologists (EAU-YAU): Urothelial carcinoma working group. Catalog of prognostic tissue-based biomarkers in patients treated with neoadjuvant systemic therapy for urothelial carcinoma of the bladder: a systematic review. Urologic oncology. 2021 Mar;39(3):180-190

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PMID: 33423937

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