Background: Bladder cancer is among the five most common malignancies worldwide, and due to high rates of recurrence, one of the most prevalent. Improvements in noninvasive urine-based assays to detect bladder cancer would benefit both patients and health care systems. In this study, the goal was to identify urothelial cell transcriptomic signatures associated with bladder cancer. Methods: Gene expression profiling (Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 arrays) was applied to exfoliated urothelia obtained from a cohort of 92 subjects with known bladder disease status. Computational analyses identified candidate biomarkers of bladder cancer and an optimal predictive model was derived. Selected targets from the profiling analyses were monitored in an independent cohort of 81 subjects using quantitative real-time PCR (RT-PCR). Results: Transcriptome profiling data analysis identified 52 genes associated with bladder cancer (P ≤ 0.001) and gene models that optimally predicted class label were derived. RT-PCR analysis of 48 selected targets in an independent cohort identified a 14-gene diagnostic signature that predicted the presence of bladder cancer with high accuracy. Conclusions: Exfoliated urothelia sampling provides a robust analyte for the evaluation of patients with suspected bladder cancer. The refinement and validation of the multigene urothelial cell signatures identified in this preliminary study may lead to accurate, noninvasive assays for the detection of bladder cancer. Impact: The development of an accurate, noninvasive bladder cancer detection assay would benefit both the patient and health care systems through better detection, monitoring, and control of disease.
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