For patients with bladder cancer, genetic variants in the regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) pathway are associated with risk, recurrence, progression, and death, according to a study published online ahead of print in Cancer.

Eugene K. Lee, MD, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues used data from 803 patients with bladder cancer and 803 healthy individuals to examine the role of alterations in 95 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 17 genes in the RGS pathway on bladder cancer risk and outcomes. Correlations with risk, recurrence, and progression were assessed in patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), and the correlation with death was assessed for patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC).

The greatest correlation with overall bladder cancer risk was seen for rs10759 on the RSG4 gene, with a 0.77-fold decreased risk with an increasing number of alleles. In a cumulative effects analysis, including five significant SNPs, risk increased with the number of unfavorable genotypes. Eleven SNPs were identified that correlated with disease recurrence and 13 with disease progression in NMIBC. Ten SNPs correlated with death in MIBC; the most significant was rs2344673 in an additive model, which correlated with a decreased median survival of 13.3 months versus 81.9 months for those without a variant allele.

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“Genetic variations in the RGS pathway were associated with the overall risk of bladder cancer, recurrence, and progression in patients with NMIBC and with the risk of death in patients with MIBC,” the authors wrote.