Tumor heterogeneity of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) mutations in invasive bladder cancer: Implications for perioperative anti-FGFR3 treatment

D. Pouessel, Y. Neuzillet, L. S. Mertens, M. S. van der Heijden, J. de Jong, J. Sanders, D. Peters, K. Leroy, A. Manceau, P. Maille, P. Soyeux, A. Moktefi, F. Semprez, D. Vordos, A. de la Taille, C. D. Hurst, D. C. Tomlinson, P. Harnden, P. J. Bostrom, T. MirttiS. Horenblas, Y. Loriot, N. Houédé, C. Chevreau, P. Beuzeboc, S. F. Shariat, Arthur I Sagalowsky, R. Ashfaq, M. Burger, M. A S Jewett, A. R. Zlotta, A. Broeks, B. Bapat, M. A. Knowles, Yair Lotan, T. H. van der Kwast, S. Culine, Y. Allory, B. W G Van Rhijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1316
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Bladder
  • Cancer
  • FGFR3
  • Heterogeneity
  • Mutations
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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