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Checkpoint Inhibitors in Urothelial Carcinoma-Future Directions and Biomarker Selection.

Several recent phase 2 and 3 trials have evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of checkpoint inhibitor (CPI) therapy for urothelial carcinoma (UC) in the metastatic, localized muscle-invasive UC (MIUC), upper tract UC, and non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) disease state. To assess the outcomes and toxicity of CPIs across the treatment landscape of UC and contextualize their application to current real-world treatment. We queried PubMed, Web of Science, and EMBASE databases and conference abstracts to identify prospective trials examining CPIs in UC. The primary endpoints included overall survival, recurrence-free survival, and toxicity (when available). A secondary analysis included biomarker evaluation of response. We identified 21 trials, 12 phase 2 and nine phase 3 trials, in which a CPI was used for metastatic UC (seven), MIUC (nine), and NMIBC (five). For first-line (1L) metastatic UC, concurrent chemotherapy with CPIs failed to show superiority. Improved overall and progression-free survival for switch maintenance avelumab (after achieving stable disease or response with induction systemic chemotherapy) has established the current standard of care for 1L metastatic UC. A single-agent CPI is a consideration for patients unable to tolerate chemotherapy. CPIs in the perioperative setting are limited to only the adjuvant treatment with nivolumab after radical surgery for MIUC in patients at a higher risk of recurrence based on pathologic stage. Only pembrolizumab is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for carcinoma in situ unresponsive to bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in patients who are not fit for or who refuse radical cystectomy. Trials investigating CPIs in combination with multiple immune regulators, antibody drug conjugates, targeted therapies, antiangiogenic agents, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy are enrolling patients and may shape the future treatment of patients with UC. CPIs have an established role across multiple states of UC, with broadened applications likely to occur in the future. Several combinations are being evaluated, while the development of predictive biomarkers and their validation may help identify patients who are most likely to respond. Our findings highlight the broad activity of checkpoint inhibitors in urothelial carcinoma, noting the need for further investigation for the best application of combinations and patient selection to patient care.

Grade Group 1 Prostate Cancers Exhibit Tumor-defining Androgen Receptor-driven Programs.

Grade group 1 (GG1) primary prostate cancers with a pathologic Gleason score of 6 are considered indolent and generally not associated with fatal outcomes, so treatment is not indicated for most cases. These low-grade cancers have an overall negligible risk of locoregional progression and metastasis to distant organs, which is why there is an ongoing debate about whether these lesions should be reclassified as "noncancerous". However, the underlying molecular activity of key disease drivers, such as the androgen receptor (AR), have thus far not been thoroughly characterized in low-grade tumors. Therefore, we set out to delineate the AR chromatin-binding landscape in low-grade GG1 prostate cancers to gain insights into whether these AR-driven programs are actually tumor-specific or are normal prostate epithelium-like. These analyses showed that GG1 tumors do not harbor a distinct AR cistrome and, similar to higher-grade cancers, AR preferentially binds to tumor-defining cis-regulatory elements. Furthermore, the enhancer activity of these regions and the expression of their respective target genes were not significantly different in GG1 tumors. From an epigenetic perspective, this finding supports the cancer designation currently given to these low-grade tumors and clearly distinguishes them from noncancerous benign tissue. PATIENT SUMMARY: We characterized the molecular activity of the androgen receptor protein, which drives prostate cancer disease, in low-grade tumors. Our results show that these tumors are true cancers and are clearly separate from benign prostate tissue despite their low clinical aggressiveness.