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Carcinogenesis. 2000 Sep;21(9):1721-6.

Comparison of genetic changes in schistosome-related transitional and squamous bladder cancers using comparative genomic hybridization.

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UCSF Cancer Center, Box 0808, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0808, USA.


The development of bladder tumors has been associated with a number of causative agents, including schistosomiasis. Schistosome-related cancers show different clinical and pathological features compared with non-schistosome-related bladder cancers, occurring in younger patients, and being predominantly of squamous cell type. This study addresses the difference between squamous and transitional tumor types in the presence of schistosome infection as a measure of the relationship between tumor genotype and phenotype. We have used comparative genomic hybridization to analyze primary muscleinvasive schistosome-related bladder tumors in 54 patients. Twenty-six of these tumors were squamous cell carcinomas; the remaining 28 were of transitional cell type. On average, transitional cell tumors showed 1.8 times the number of chromosomal aberrations as squamous cell tumors (14.4 versus 8.2, P: < 0.001). For both groups combined, the most prevalent genetic alterations were losses of 8p and 18q, and gains of 8q. Transitional cell cancers also showed frequent losses involving 5q, 9p, 10q, 11p and 11q, and gains at 1q and 17q. Loss of 11p was significantly more frequent in TCC than in SCC tumors (50 versus 4%, P: = 0.01). Squamous cell cancers showed more frequent losses of 17p and 18p than transitional tumors, which was clearly significant given the overall reduced frequency of changes in squamous cancers (P: = 0.001 and P: = 0.03, respectively). These data show that different histologic subgroups of bladder tumors are characterized by distinct patterns of chromosomal alterations. The genetic changes found in the transitional cell group are similar to those reported in non-schistosome-related transitional cell tumors, but differ from tumors exhibiting squamous differentiation.

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