Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) is an actionable target in bladder cancer. Preclinical studies show that anti-FGFR3 treatment slows down tumor growth, suggesting that this tyrosine kinase receptor is a candidate for personalized bladder cancer treatment, particularly in patients with mutated FGFR3. We addressed tumor heterogeneity in a large multicenter, multi-laboratory study, as this may have significant impact on therapeutic response.Patients and methods
We evaluated possible FGFR3 heterogeneity by the PCR-SNaPshot method in the superficial and deep compartments of tumors obtained by transurethral resection (TUR, n = 61) and in radical cystectomy (RC, n = 614) specimens and corresponding cancer-positive lymph nodes (LN+, n = 201).Results
We found FGFR3 mutations in 13/34 (38%) T1 and 8/27 (30%) ≥T2-TUR samples, with 100% concordance between superficial and deeper parts in T1-TUR samples. Of eight FGFR3 mutant ≥T2-TUR samples, only 4 (50%) displayed the mutation in the deeper part. We found 67/614 (11%) FGFR3 mutations in RC specimens. FGFR3 mutation was associated with pN0 (P < 0.001) at RC. In 10/201 (5%) LN+, an FGFR3 mutation was found, all concordant with the corresponding RC specimen. In the remaining 191 cases, RC and LN+ were both wild type.Conclusions
FGFR3 mutation status seems promising to guide decision-making on adjuvant anti-FGFR3 therapy as it appeared homogeneous in RC and LN+. Based on the results of TUR, the deep part of the tumor needs to be assessed if neoadjuvant anti-FGFR3 treatment is considered. We conclude that studies on the heterogeneity of actionable molecular targets should precede clinical trials with these drugs in the perioperative setting.