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This article is the author's final published version in Molecules, Volume 29, Issue 8, April 2024, Article number 1896.

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Copyright © 2024 by the authors


Urothelial carcinoma (UC) is the fourth most prevalent cancer amongst males worldwide. While patients with non-muscle-invasive disease have a favorable prognosis, 25% of UC patients present with locally advanced disease which is associated with a 10-15% 5-year survival rate and poor overall prognosis. Muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) is associated with about 50% 5 year survival when treated by radical cystectomy or trimodality therapy; stage IV disease is associated with 10-15% 5 year survival. Current therapeutic modalities for MIBC include neoadjuvant chemotherapy, surgery and/or chemoradiation, although patients with relapsed or refractory disease have a poor prognosis. However, the rapid success of immuno-oncology in various hematologic and solid malignancies offers new targets with tremendous therapeutic potential in UC. Historically, there were no predictive biomarkers to guide the clinical management and treatment of UC, and biomarker development was an unmet need. However, recent and ongoing clinical trials have identified several promising tumor biomarkers that have the potential to serve as predictive or prognostic tools in UC. This review provides a comprehensive summary of emerging biomarkers and molecular tumor targets including programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR), DNA damage response and repair (DDR) mutations, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) expression and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), as well as their clinical utility in UC. We also evaluate recent advancements in precision oncology in UC, while illustrating limiting factors and challenges related to the clinical application of these biomarkers in clinical practice.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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