• A miRNA signature predicts benefit from addition of hypoxia-modifying therapy to radiation treatment in invasive bladder cancer

      Khan, Mairah T.; Irlam-Jones, Joely J.; Pereira, Ronnie Rodrigues; Lane, Brian; Valentine, Helen R.; Aragaki, Kai; Dyrskjøt, Lars; McConkey, David J.; Hoskin, Peter J.; Choudhury, Ananya; et al. (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021-04-12)
      Abstract: Background: miRNAs are promising biomarkers in oncology as their small size makes them less susceptible to degradation than mRNA in FFPE tissue. We aimed to derive a hypoxia-associated miRNA signature for bladder cancer. Methods: Taqman miRNA array cards identified miRNA seed genes induced under hypoxia in bladder cancer cell lines. A signature was derived using feature selection methods in a TCGA BLCA training data set. miRNA expression data were generated for 190 tumours from the BCON Phase 3 trial and used for independent validation. Results: A 14-miRNA hypoxia signature was derived, which was prognostic for poorer overall survival in the TCGA BLCA cohort (n = 403, p = 0.001). Univariable analysis showed that the miRNA signature predicted an overall survival benefit from having carbogen–nicotinamide with radiotherapy (HR = 0.30, 95% CI 0.094–0.95, p = 0.030) and performed similarly to a 24-gene mRNA signature (HR = 0.47, 95% CI 0.24–0.92, p = 0.025). Combining the signatures improved performance (HR = 0.26, 95% CI 0.08–0.82, p = 0.014) with borderline significance for an interaction test (p = 0.065). The interaction test was significant for local relapse-free survival LRFS (p = 0.033). Conclusion: A 14-miRNA hypoxia signature can be used with an mRNA hypoxia signature to identify bladder cancer patients benefitting most from having carbogen and nicotinamide with radiotherapy.