BACKGROUND: Improved therapies are needed for patients with invasive urothelial carcinoma (InvUC). Tailoring treatment to molecular subtypes holds promise, but requires further study, including studies in pre-clinical animal models. Naturally-occurring canine InvUC harbors luminal and basal subtypes, mimicking those observed in humans, and could offer a relevant model for the disease in people. OBJECTIVE: To further validate the canine InvUC model, clinical and tumor characteristics associated with luminal and basal subtypes in dogs were determined, with comparison to findings from humans. METHODS: RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses were performed on 56 canine InvUC tissues and bladder mucosa from four normal dogs. Data were aligned to CanFam 3.1, and differentially expressed genes identified. Data were interrogated with panels of genes defining luminal and basal subtypes, immune signatures, and other tumor features. Subject and tumor characteristics, and outcome data were obtained from medical records. RESULTS: Twenty-nine tumors were classified as luminal and 27 tumors as basal subtype. Basal tumors were strongly associated with immune infiltration (OR 52.22, 95%CI 4.68-582.38, P=0.001) and cancer progression signatures in RNA-seq analyses, more advanced clinical stage, and earlier onset of distant metastases in exploratory analyses (P=0.0113). Luminal tumors were strongly associated with breeds at high risk for InvUC (OR 0.06, 95%CI 0.01 -0.37, P=0.002), non-immune infiltrative signatures, and less advanced clinical stage. CONCLUSIONS: Dogs with InvUC could provide a valuable model for testing new treatment strategies in the context of molecular subtype and immune status, and the search for germline variants impacting InvUC onset and subtype.
- animal model
- Muscle invasive bladder cancer
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