Molecular markers predicting disease outcome in bladder cancer. Should we shift from the classical cell-cycle regulators to HER2 oncogene?

F. Sanguedolce 1, A. Cormio 2, B. Calò 3, N. Buffi 4, R. Autorino 5, L. Cormio 3

1 Section of Pathology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Italy; 2 Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, Italy; 3 Urology and Renal Transplantation Unit, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Foggia, Italy; 4 Urology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Hospital, Rozzano, Milan, Italy; Humanitas University, Rozzano, Milan, Italy; 5 Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, VCU Health, Richmond, VA, USA

Bladder cancer is regarded as a disease of the elderly as its incidence increases steeply with increase in age. One of the main clinical issues in bladder cancer is predicting disease outcome. Since the unpredictable behavior of this disease has been attributed to its biology, the search for predictive factors has mainly been oriented towards molecular markers. Cell-cycle regulators are the most studied ones but there is emerging evidence that HER2 oncogene, widely studied and used in other cancers, may soon overcome them. 

Herein we reviewed available evidence regarding the predictive role of cell-cycle regulators and HER2 oncogene. Emerging data suggest that HER2, either alone or in combination with other markers, can be equally if not more effective than cell-cycle regulators in predicting disease outcome. Moreover, it represents a well-known and particularly attractive potential therapeutic target.

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