Genomic imbalances in urothelial cancer: Intratumor heterogeneity versus multifocality

Esther Prat, Javier Del Rey, Jordi Camps, Immaculada Ponsa, Josep Lloreta, Josep Egozcue, Antoni Gelabert, Mercedes Campillo, Rosa Miro

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Comparative genomic hybridization and fluorescence in situ hybridization were used to define genetic changes associated with multifocal bladder cancer and to investigate whether the genetic relationship between synchronous urothelial tumors is similar to that observed within different parts of the same tumor. We investigated 8 synchronous urothelial tumors from 3 patients and macroscopically different parts of the same tumor from 2 other patients. The most frequent imbalances were gains of 1q, 2p, and 17q, and losses in 4q. The high number of chromosome imbalances detected in the present report confirms that a high level of chromosome instability could be characteristic of multicentric bladder tumors. Comparative genomic hybridization profiles obtained from independent tumors belonging to the same patient allowed us to elaborate cytogenetic pedigrees portraying the accumulation of chromosome alterations as a form of clonal evolution from a single precursor cell. The analysis of different macroscopic parts of the same tumor allowed us to detect chromosomal heterogeneity and to delineate intratumor clonal evolution. Some chromosome regions that appeared as a gain in one subpopulation were amplified in others indicating a genetic evolution process. Identical processes were observed in different tumors of the same patient. Expansion of chromosome gains and losses between different parts of the same tumor as well as in different tumors of the same patient was also observed. Our results not only provide further evidence of a clonal relationship between different synchronous bladder tumors but also show that the intratumor heterogeneity present in different subpopulations of the same tumor reproduces the behavior of independent synchronous tumors in a same patient. Copyright © 2008 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-140
JournalDiagnostic Molecular Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2008


  • Chromosome imbalances
  • Heterogeneity
  • Multifocal
  • Synchronous
  • Urothelial cancer


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