Complexity of FGFR signalling in metastatic urothelial cancer

Urothelial cancers (UC) are the fourth most common tumours worldwide after prostate (or breast), lung and colorectal cancer. Despite recent improvements in their management, UC remain an aggressive disease associated with a poor outcome.

Following disease progression on first-line platinum-based chemotherapy, very few effective treatment options are available and none of them have shown significant improvement in overall survival. Alterations of the fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) pathway including amplification, mutations and overexpression are common in UC. Pre-clinical data suggest that the presence of such dysregulations may confer sensitivity to FGFR inhibitors.

We present here the case of a patient with a metastatic UC of the renal pelvis with lymph node metastases treated with the selective FGFR inhibitor AZD4547.

To date, the patient has been on a study drug for 32 months with acceptable tolerance and maintained radiological partial response as per RECIST 1. 1 criteria. Exploratory biomarker analysis showed FGFR3, FGFR1, FGF-ligand and fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2 (FRS2) expression in the patient's tumour, together with the presence of a germ-line mutation in the FGFR3 extracellular binding domain. This is not a known hotspot mutation, and the functional significance remains unclear.

The FGFR inhibitor AZD4547 exhibits antitumour activity in a metastatic urothelial cancer displaying FGFR1, FGFR3, FGF-ligand and FRS2 expression. This lends support to the further exploration of FGFR inhibitors in urothelial cancer. Further studies are required to determinate the most effective way to select those patients most likely to respond.

Journal of hematology & oncology. 2015 Oct 24*** epublish ***

Alejo Rodriguez-Vida, Matilde Saggese, Simon Hughes, Sarah Rudman, Simon Chowdhury, Neil R Smith, Peter Lawrence, Claire Rooney, Brian Dougherty, Donal Landers, Elaine Kilgour, Hendrik-Tobias Arkenau

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, SE1 9RT, UK.  Sarah Cannon Research Institute UK, London, W1G 6AD, UK.  Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, SE1 9RT, UK. Simon.  Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, SE1 9RT, UK. Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, SE1 9RT, UK. Simon. Oncology iMED, AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 4TG, UK. Oncology iMED, AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 4TG, UK. Oncology iMED, AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 4TG, UK. Oncology iMED, AstraZeneca, Gatehouse Park, Boston, USA.  Oncology iMED, AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 4TG, UK.  Oncology iMED, AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK10 4TG, UK. Sarah Cannon Research Institute UK, London, W1G 6AD, UK. Tobias. 

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