Aarhus, Denmark (UroToday.com) Veronika Weyerer from the Institute of Pathology at University Hospital Erlangen presented data investigating the immunological tumor microenvironment in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer treated with radical cystectomy, comparing those who had to activate FGFR-3 mutations versus wild-type cases. Analyses were performed comparing tumor mutational burden, neoantigen load, and immune checkpoint gene expression in both in a TCGA cohort (n=407) as well as an institutional cohort (n=199), between patients with and without activating FGFR-3 mutations.

Those with activating FGFR-3 mutations had less tumor mutational burden and neoantigen load; additionally, they had low expression of PD-1, PD-L1, and immune-related gene expression. These data suggest that combination therapies targeting FGFR3 and PD-1/PD-L1 may not be effective, although additional validation is required.


Abstract take-home message:

  • Patients with MIBC and activating FGFR-3 mutations were found to have less tumor mutational burden and neoantigen load; as well as low expression of PD-1, PD-L1, and immune-related gene expression

Presented by: Veronika Weyerer, MD, Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany;

Written by: Dr. Vikram M. Narayan (@VikramNarayan), Urologic Oncology Fellow with Ashish M. Kamat, MD (@UroDocAsh), Professor, Department of Urology, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX at the 17th meeting of the International Bladder Cancer Network, (IBCN, #IBCN2019) October 3rd – 5th, 2019 in Aarhus, Denmark.