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World J Urol. 1994;12(2):79-83.

P53 accumulation in precursor lesions and early stages of bladder cancer.

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  • 1Urologische Klinik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany.


Recent investigations have demonstrated alterations of the p53 tumor-suppressor gene in a considerable number of transitional-cell carcinoma (TCC) specimens. Thus far, these investigations have been restricted to either papillary TCC or invasive bladder cancer. To obtain further information on a possible involvement of p53 in bladder cancer development or tumor progression, investigations of precursor lesions and early stages of this disease are required. Immunohistochemical examination of 6 dysplasias and 24 carcinomas in situ (TIS) showed p53 accumulation, which is suggestive of p53 inactivation, in 2 (33%) and 9 (38%) of these specimens, respectively. This ratio was similar in 9 T1 lesions (33%) and in 14 cases of muscle-infiltrative disease (35%). In papillary tumors, p53 accumulation was observed exclusively in 3/10 moderately differentiated or high-grade lesions but not in 1 Ta G1 tumor. The expression of p53 accumulation was a consistent finding. The examination of tumor recurrences yielded either the presence or the absence of p53 overexpression in the primary and recurrent tumors of 7/8 patients. Similarly, in multifocal TCC, p53 accumulation was also either present or absent in 10/11 cases examined. These results suggest the existence of at least two different subgroups of TCC, with p53 accumulation being present in one of these groups. The observation of p53 accumulation in dysplasia and in TIS is a prerequisite for a possible involvement of p53 in bladder cancer carcinogenesis, although it does not prove this assumption.

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