Tissue biomarkers in nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer: any role in clinical practice?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To summarize recent findings on tissue biomarkers for nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) with an emphasis on their prognostic and predictive role.

Recent findings

Accurate risk stratification is essential and the major driver in patient counseling regarding surveillance and decision making relative to therapeutic strategies. In NMIBC, there is an unmet need for improving the accuracy of current prognostic and predictive models, which rely only on clinicopathologic features and do not reflect the biological heterogeneity of the cancer in each individual. Studies continuously shed novel light on some processes involved in cancerogenesis, host response and interactions in the tumor's own microenvironment, which may be considered as potential biomarkers and targets for future directed therapies.

Summary

Biomarkers are necessary to transform bladder cancer management and usher in the age of personalized medicine. The clinical use is, however, still limited because of heterogeneity in study design, staining methods and an overall lacking adherence to a structured biomarker testing process.

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