Introduction: Bladder cancer (BC) is the third and fifth cancer in men in terms of incidence and mortality in the US. Overexpression and mutations of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) are frequently found in BC and can represent a very interesting therapeutic target. Different FGFR3-targeted strategies have been investigated through in vitro and in vivo settings, including FGFR3 tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as dovitinib.
Areas covered: The authors review the data that provide a scientific rationale for FGFR3-targeted therapy in BC. They also provide an evaluation of the currently available in vitro and in vivo data on the use of dovitinib in BC patients.
Expert opinion: The development and progression of BC rely on a very complex signaling network that involves many different receptors aside from FGFR3 and VEGFR2. The involved signaling network can also be very different from one BC to the other, and can also evolve through time in the same patient. Inhibiting only one single target may thus not be sufficient to achieve a complete downstream oncogenic signaling blockage. Additionally, in vitro data on the use of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies targeting FGFR3 show that it can be a more efficient strategy to reach the same goal, with the potential advantage of less toxicity.
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