Recent research in next-generation sequencing characterized the genomic landscape of urothelial cancer. However, the majority of the studies focused on bladder cancer (BC). Upper urinary tract urothelial carcinomas (UTUC) and BC share some histological characteristics, but, considering the differences in terms of embryologic precursors, epidemiology, genetics, medical and surgical management and response to therapy, UTUC and BC should be considered as two distinct diseases. Our objective is to analyze through a literature search the latest updates and the current knowledge about the genomics of UTUC. We also evaluate genetic differences between BC and UTUC and the potential implications for systemic therapy. Molecular subtyping and variant histology and their correlation with response to chemotherapy were also explored. In summary, the most frequent genomic variations in UTUC included FGFR3, chromatin remodeling genes, TP53/MDM2 and other tumor suppressors/oncogenes. The genomics of UTUC, integrated with clinical data, could drive the selection of patients who could benefit from targeted therapy or off-label treatment. Routine implementation of tumor genomic characterization in UTUC patients should therefore be contemplated and evaluated prospectively.
Genes. 2021 Feb 25*** epublish ***
Elisa De Lorenzis, Giancarlo Albo, Fabrizio Longo, Carolina Bebi, Luca Boeri, Emanuele Montanari
Urology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy.