, William Kim, Benjamin Vincent, and a research team from the University of North Carolina characterized a new subtype of muscle-invasive bladder cancer that shares molecular signatures with some forms of breast cancer.
‘A new subtype of muscle-invasive bladder cancer has been observed to share molecular signatures with some forms of breast cancer.’
A subset of triple-negative breast cancers express low levels of the tight junction protein claudin. The UNC researchers now document that claudin-low tumors represent a specific subtype of bladder cancer as well.
Using data from the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) urothelial bladder carcinoma data set, they found that claudin-low tumors express high levels of immune-related genes, but also show a strong signature of immunosuppression.
These findings suggest that claudin-low bladder cancers may be particularly responsive to immunotherapy-based treatments that derepress the immune system.
Future studies will be needed to clinically test immune checkpoint inhibitors in this population.