New Insights into the Diagnosis, Molecular Taxonomy, and Treatment of Bladder Cancer
This review aims to emphasize new insights into the diagnosis, classification, and therapy of bladder cancer (BC). Bladder cancer is a heterogeneous, complex disease on a morphological, molecular, diagnostic, and prognostic level. Cancer stage is still the most important attribute for prognosis and treatment, while early detection with optimal and rapid individual therapeutic and surveillance approach is crucial. The vast majority of patients have a superficial, non-muscle-invasive tumor associated with a good prognosis after resection and adjuvant intravesical maintenance immuno or chemotherapy if needed. On the other hand, muscle-invasive bladder cancer is a highly aggressive disease with high morbidity and mortality. However, it has become a model for oncology success over the last five years with many available targeted therapeutic modalities. Metastatic BC is now amenable to multimodal treatment combining cystectomy and neoadjuvant chemotherapy and immunotherapy and is a target for precision medicine.
Conclusion. A new molecular taxonomy for bladder cancer has been proposed and provided insight into BC’s carcinogenesis, with some possible effects on therapy decisions. However, this classification is still not applicable in routine clinical practice. It opens new questions regarding the interplay between tumor genetic signature, intratumoral heterogeneity, therapy implications, and tumor progression.
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