Urine cell-based DNA methylation classifier for monitoring bladder cancer

Current standard methods used to detect and monitor bladder cancer (BC) are invasive or have low sensitivity. This study aimed to develop a urine methylation biomarker classifier for BC monitoring and validate this classifier in patients in follow-up for bladder cancer (PFBC).

Voided urine samples (N = 725) from BC patients, controls, and PFBC were prospectively collected in four centers. Finally, 626 urine samples were available for analysis. DNA was extracted from the urinary cells and bisulfite modificated, and methylation status was analyzed using pyrosequencing. Cytology was available from a subset of patients (N = 399). In the discovery phase, seven selected genes from the literature (CDH13, CFTR, NID2, SALL3, TMEFF2, TWIST1, and VIM2) were studied in 111 BC and 57 control samples. This training set was used to develop a gene classifier by logistic regression and was validated in 458 PFBC samples (173 with recurrence).

A three-gene methylation classifier containing CFTR, SALL3, and TWIST1 was developed in the training set (AUC 0.874). The classifier achieved an AUC of 0.741 in the validation series. Cytology results were available for 308 samples from the validation set. Cytology achieved AUC 0.696 whereas the classifier in this subset of patients reached an AUC 0.768. Combining the methylation classifier with cytology results achieved an AUC 0.86 in the validation set, with a sensitivity of 96%, a specificity of 40%, and a positive and negative predictive value of 56 and 92%, respectively.

The combination of the three-gene methylation classifier and cytology results has high sensitivity and high negative predictive value in a real clinical scenario (PFBC). The proposed classifier is a useful test for predicting BC recurrence and decrease the number of cystoscopies in the follow-up of BC patients. If only patients with a positive combined classifier result would be cystoscopied, 36% of all cystoscopies can be prevented.

Clinical epigenetics. 2018 May 30*** epublish ***

Antoine G van der Heijden, Lourdes Mengual, Mercedes Ingelmo-Torres, Juan J Lozano, Cindy C M van Rijt-van de Westerlo, Montserrat Baixauli, Bogdan Geavlete, Cristian Moldoveanud, Cosmin Ene, Colin P Dinney, Bogdan Czerniak, Jack A Schalken, Lambertus A L M Kiemeney, Maria J Ribal, J Alfred Witjes, Antonio Alcaraz

1Department of Urology Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands., 2Laboratory and Department of Urology, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain., 3CIBERehd, Plataforma de Bioinformática, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas, Barcelona, Spain., 4Saint John Emergency Clinical Hospital, Bucharest, Romania., 5MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas USA.