Scandinavian Journal of Urology 57 (1-6) 2-9 [2023-11-02; online 2022-12-20]
Bladder cancer is molecularly one of the most heterogenous malignancies characterized by equally heterogenous clinical outcomes. Standard morphological assessment with pathology and added immunohistochemical analyses is unable to fully address the heterogeneity, but up to now treatment decisions have been made based on such information only. Bladder cancer molecular subtypes will likely provide means for a more personalized bladder cancer care. To facilitate further development of bladder cancer molecular subtypes and clinical translation, the UROSCAN-biobank was initiated in 2013 to achieve systematic biobanking of preoperative blood and fresh frozen tumor tissue in a population-based setting. In a second phase, we established in 2018 a parallel logistic pipeline for molecular profiling by RNA-sequencing, to develop and validate clinical implementation of molecular subtyping and actionable molecular target identification in real-time. Until June 2021, 1825 individuals were included in the UROSCAN-biobank, of which 1650 (90%) had primary bladder cancer, 127 (7%) recurrent tumors, and 48 (3%) unknown tumor status. In 159 patients, multiple tumors were sampled, and metachronous tumors were collected in 83 patients. Between 2016 and 2020 the UROSCAN-biobanking included 1122/2999 (37%) of all primary bladder cancer patients in the Southern Healthcare Region. Until June 2021, the corresponding numbers subjected to RNA-sequencing and molecular subtyping was 605 (UROSCANSEQ), of which 52 (9%) samples were not sequenced due to inadequate RNA-quality (n = 47) or technical failure/lost sample (n = 5). The UROSCAN-biobanking and UROSCANSEQ-infrastructure for molecular subtyping by real-time RNA-sequencing represents, to our knowledge, the largest effort of evaluating population-wide molecular classification of bladder cancer.