BackgroundFinding effective prognostic signatures is of great urgency due to the high risk of recurrence and progression of bladder cancer (BC). Although a lot of genetic alterations are involved in the carcinogenesis, none of them were referred in the current risk group stratifications. In this study, we aimed to find significant copy number variations (CNVs) to predict prognosis for BC patients.
MethodsCNVs with high aberration frequencies in BC were explored by array-based comparative genomic hybridization in 65 tumor samples. Candidates were validated in independent groups of BC tumor samples (n=219) and urine samples (n=123). 3D digital PCR was applied for detecting accurate gene copy numbers in BC urine. In order to explore the prognostic value of candidate CNVs, all enrolled patients were followed up for the disease-free survival (DFS). Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was performed to find the independent prognostic factors for DFS.
ResultsCNVs of CEP63, FOSL2 and PAQR6 with high aberration frequencies (67.7%, 56.9% and 60.0%, respectively) were found in BC tumors. Copy numbers of CEP63, FOSL2 and PAQR6 were gained in 219 tumor samples. CNVs of CEP63 and FOSL2 were correlated with advanced tumor stage and high grade. Retrospective analysis (median follow-up time: 69 months) revealed that CNVs of CEP63 and FOSL2 were independent prognostic factors for DFS of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) patients, while CNVs of FOSL2 and PAQR6 were independent prognostic factors for DFS of muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) patients. Models for predicting DFS were constructed based on CNVs of three genes. Patients with high prognostic indexes tended to have poor DFS. Prognostic index can also help to identify those with worse outcomes among high risk NMIBC patients. Copy number gains of CEP63 and FOSL2 in urine were found to be significantly correlated with poor DFS of NMIBC patients.
ConclusionsCNVs of CEP63, FOSL2 and PAQR6 were capable of predicting DFS and may serve as promising signatures for prognosis of BC.