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- Small cell carcinomas of the bladder and lung are characterized by a convergent but distinct pathogenesis.
- Paper ID
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, 2017
PMID: 29180607 (view at PubMed or Europe PMC)
- Background Small cell carcinoma of the bladder (SCCB) is a rare and aggressive neuroendocrine tumor with a dismal prognosis and limited treatment options. As SCCB is histologically indistinguishable from small cell lung cancer, a shared pathogenesis and cell of origin has been proposed. The aim of this study is to determine whether SCCBs arise from a pre-existent urothelial carcinoma or share a molecular pathogenesis in common with small cell lung cancer. Results We performed an integrative analysis of 61 SCCB tumors to identify histology- and organ-specific similarities and differences. SCCB has a high somatic mutational burden driven predominantly by an APOBEC-mediated mutational process. TP53, RB1, and TERT promoter mutations were present in nearly all samples. While these events appeared to arise early in all affected tumors and likely reflect an evolutionary branch point that may have driven small cell lineage differentiation, they were unlikely the founding transforming event, as they were often preceded by diverse and less common driver mutations, many of which are common in bladder urothelial cancers but not small cell lung tumors. Most patient tumors (72%) also underwent genome doubling (GD). While arising at different chronological points in the evolution of the disease, GD was often preceded by biallelic mutations in TP53 with retention of two intact copies. Conclusions Our findings indicate that small cell cancers of the bladder and lung have a convergent but distinct pathogenesis with SCCBs arising from a cell of origin shared with urothelial bladder cancer.
- Paper Status