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Pathobiology. 2008;75(1):25-33. doi: 10.1159/000113792. Epub 2008 Mar 11.

Large-scale analysis of cell cycle regulators in urothelial bladder cancer identifies p16 and p27 as potentially useful prognostic markers.

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  • 1Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria. andrea.brunner@i-med.ac.at



We investigated the value of multiple cell cycle markers for their prognostic impact on overall survival and recurrence-free survival in urothelial carcinoma (UC).


A tissue microarray consisting of 99 UCs was evaluated for the expression of p53, p16, p21, p27, cyclin D1, cyclin E , Bcl-2, Ki-67 and PCNA. Statistical analysis was performed applying Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression models using receiver operator characteristic curves for determination of markers' cutoffs.


Expression above the cutoffs of Ki-67, p53 and p27, particularly in high-grade and early-stage UC, was associated with worse overall survival, while expression of p16 indicated a better outcome in low-grade and low-stage tumors. Recurrence-free survival was better in patients with high-grade UC expressing PCNA, p16 and cyclin E, and low-grade UC expressing Bcl-2 above the cutoffs, but worse in all tumors with high Ki-67.


Cell cycle deregulation in UC is complex and the prognostic value of the various involved proteins should be differentially regarded with respect to this complexity and other tumor characteristics such as grade and stage. Our results point towards the role of p16- and p27-associated pathways in tumor progression and indicate that, by using standardized approaches for tissue antigen expression, evaluation and cutoff determination, single potentially useful prognostic markers could be identified.

(c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel

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