Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Algorithms with Gene Expression Profiling to Predict Recurrent Nonmuscle Invasive Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder

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Due to the high recurrence risk of nonmuscle invasive urothelial carcinoma it is crucial to distinguish patients at high risk from those with indolent disease. In this study we used a machine learning algorithm to identify the genes in patients with nonmuscle invasive urothelial carcinoma at initial presentation that were most predictive of recurrence. We used the genes in a molecular signature to predict recurrence risk within 5 years after transurethral resection of bladder tumor.

Materials and Methods

Whole genome profiling was performed on 112 frozen nonmuscle invasive urothelial carcinoma specimens obtained at first presentation on Human WG-6 BeadChips (Illumina®). A genetic programming algorithm was applied to evolve classifier mathematical models for outcome prediction. Cross-validation based resampling and gene use frequencies were used to identify the most prognostic genes, which were combined into rules used in a voting algorithm to predict the sample target class. Key genes were validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction.


The classifier set included 21 genes that predicted recurrence. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was done for these genes in a subset of 100 patients. A 5-gene combined rule incorporating a voting algorithm yielded 77% sensitivity and 85% specificity to predict recurrence in the training set, and 69% and 62%, respectively, in the test set. A singular 3-gene rule was constructed that predicted recurrence with 80% sensitivity and 90% specificity in the training set, and 71% and 67%, respectively, in the test set.


Using primary nonmuscle invasive urothelial carcinoma from initial occurrences genetic programming identified transcripts in reproducible fashion, which were predictive of recurrence. These findings could potentially impact nonmuscle invasive urothelial carcinoma management.

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