Prognostic DNA Methylation Biomarkers in High-risk Non-muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer: A Systematic Review to Identify Loci for Prospective Validation.

High-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (HR-NMIBC) represents over 30% of all incident urothelial bladder cancers (BCs); patients are at risk of progression, and 20-30% will die from BC within 5 yr.

Current guidelines recommend induction and maintenance of intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) or upfront radical cystectomy for highest-risk disease, treatments with markedly different morbidity, mortality, and patient burden. There are no validated biomarkers to facilitate such treatment decisions. Alterations in DNA methylation are commonplace in BC; hence, measurable changes in DNA methylation represent an opportunity for the discovery of such biomarkers.

To systematically assess the evidence regarding DNA methylation markers as prognosticators for HR-NMIBC.

Standard systematic review methods were employed with searches undertaken in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed up to January 2019. Studies that included patients with HR-NMIBC and investigated the utility of DNA methylation biomarkers as prognostic tools were included.

Of 63 prognostic biomarker studies identified, 21 met the protocol-driven inclusion criteria and were directly relevant to HR-NMIBC patient outcomes: tumour recurrence (TR), tumour progression (TP), disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival (OS). These studies described 140 methylation markers; of these, the most promising were cadherin-13 (CDH13; hazard ratios [HRs]: 5.1 for TR, 6.6 for TP, 3.8-8.0 for OS), protocadherins (PCDHs; HRs: 4.7 for TR, 2.5 for TP, 3.0-4.8 for OS), Runt domain transcription factor 3 (RUNX3; HR: 5.1 for TP), Homeobox 9 (HOXA9; HR: 1.9 for TR), Islet-1 (ISL1; HRs: 1.7 for TR, 3.3 for TP), and PAX6 (HR: 2.2 for TR).

This systematic review identifies a number of potentially useful prognostic methylation markers for HR-NMIBC. These loci (CDH13, PCDHs, RUNX3, HOXA9, ISL1, and PAX6) should be validated in prospective studies in order to translate benefit to patients.

Early bladder cancer represents a more complex spectrum of disease than can be assessed by conventional methods Emerging studies on molecular markers will improve our understanding of this disease, and may enable more precise and personalised treatment.

European urology focus. 2019 Feb 22 [Epub ahead of print]

Pratik M S Gurung, Abigail R Barnett, Jayne S Wilson, John Hudson, Douglas G Ward, Edward M Messing, Richard T Bryan

University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, NY, USA., Institute of Cancer & Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK., New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, UK., Institute of Cancer & Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. Electronic address: .