Clinical utility of cisplatin based neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) prior to radical cystectomy is limited because of lack of tools that can guide for a better patient selection. We aim to explore if a combination of biomarkers is superior to a single marker. Pretreatment tumor specimens and clinical data from two randomized trials including 250 patients with T2-T4 urothelial bladder cancer, were used. The information on the expressions on tumor tissue of four biomarkers; CCTα, emmprin, survivin, and BCL-2, detected by immunohistochemistry in our previous studies, was used. Cox proportional hazard models, including treatment-by-biomarker interaction terms, were used to assess the predictive value of the biomarkers for efficacy of NAC on overall survival. CCTα provided predictive information about the efficacy of NAC (interaction P=0.009). None of the other biomarkers provided statistically significant information additional to CCTα. The adjusted hazard ratio for NAC treated versus no-NAC was 0.42 (95% CI: 0.27-0.64) for patients with negative CCTα expression, when adding information about emmprin it decreased to 0.33 (95% CI: 0.19-0.56) for patients with both negative CCTα and emmprin. This corresponds to a decrease in number needed to treat from 4 to 3 patients. The combination of CCTα with survivin or BCL-2 yielded similar results. In a group of patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer a combination of two biomarkers might improve the possibility to identify patients most likely to benefit from the use of NAC. Further studies designed to have sufficient power to detect an interaction effect are needed.
Abbreviations:NAC (Neoadjuvant Cisplatin-based chemotherapy), CCTα (phosphate cytidylyltransferase 1 choline alpha.)
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Published online: March 21, 2021
Accepted: March 17, 2021
Received in revised form: February 21, 2021
Received: October 21, 2020
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