Background: CD24 is a cornerstone of tumour progression in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB). However, its contribution to cancer stem cell (CSC)-like traits and the clinical utility of CD24 as a urinary biomarker for cancer detection have not been determined. Methods: The functional relevance of CD24 was evaluated using in vitro and in vivo approaches. The clinical utility of CSC-related molecules was assessed in urine samples by quantitative RT-PCR. Results: The knockdown of CD24 attenuated cancer stemness properties. The high-CD24-expressing cells, isolated from patient-derived UCB xenograft tumours, exhibited their enhanced stemness properties. CD24 was overexpressed not only in primary tumours but also in urine from UCB subjects. By assessment of 15 candidate CSC-related molecules in urine samples of a training cohort, a panel of three molecules (CD24, CD49f, and NANOG) was selected. The combination of these three molecules yielded a sensitivity and specificity of 81.7% and 74.3%, respectively, in an independent cohort. A combined set of 84 cases and 207 controls provided a sensitivity and specificity of 82% and 76%, respectively. Conclusion: CD24 has a crucial role in maintaining the urothelial cancer stem-like traits and a panel of CSC-related molecules has potential as a urinary biomarker for non-invasive UCB detection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research