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Thomas Flaig, MD


DNA Repair Biomarkers as Prognostic Indicators in Patients With Bladder Cancer

By: Joshua D. Madera, MD
Posted: Friday, September 15, 2023

Investigative efforts to understand the role of HER2/ERBB2 in bladder cancer may have revealed potential prognostic markers in ERBB2-low bladder cancer, according to the results of a study published in Scientific Reports. Increased mRNA expression of the biomarkers BARD1, RAD21, and RAD50 were associated with low rates of survival in patients with ERBB2-low bladder carcinoma, explained Nada Albarakati, PhD, of the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and colleagues.

A total of 413 patients with muscle-invasive bladder carcinoma were retrospectively assessed using The Cancer Genome Atlas and four additional cohorts. These patients were matched against samples without bladder cancer. The extent of mRNA expression of BARD1, ERBB2, RAD21, and RAD50 was measured across all five cohorts. Patients were stratified based on levels of ERBB2. In addition, gene-gene interaction networks were used to assess the associations between these genes.

The study findings revealed an increased level of mRNA expression of BARD1, RAD21, and RAD50 in patients with ERBB2-low bladder carcinoma compared with patients with ERBB2-high bladder carcinoma. The increased expression of these homologous recombination repair transcripts was associated with poor clinical outcomes in patients with ERBB2-low bladder cancer. Moreover, a reduced disease-free survival rate was identified in patients with ERBB2-low bladder cancer who had an increased combined expression of RAD21/RAD50, BARD1/RAD21, or BARD1/RAD50. Patients from this same cohort who had reduced combined expression of these genes had better outcomes, according to the investigators. Furthermore, the risk of metastasis was increased in patients who had an elevated combined expression of BARD1/RAD21 and RAD21/RAD50. An increased level of BARD1 alone appeared to be an independent prognostic factor of worse survival in this patient population.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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