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J Urol. 2001 May;165(5):1473-9.

E-cadherin immunostaining of bladder transitional cell carcinoma, carcinoma in situ and lymph node metastases with long-term followup.

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Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine, and The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, USA.



We analyze the expression of E-cadherin in bladder transitional cell carcinoma, areas of carcinoma in situ and lymph node metastases, and determine the value of E-cadherin immunoreactivity for predicting disease progression and survival of patients with bladder transitional cell carcinoma.


The study group consisted of 77 patients who underwent radical cystectomy. Formalin fixed paraffin sections were processed with a hot, citric acid antigen retrieval method, followed by immunostaining with anti-E-cadherin monoclonal antibody and a standard avidin biotin complex technique. E-cadherin expression was also evaluated in carcinoma in situ sections (18) and in regional lymph node metastases (17).


Loss of normal membrane E-cadherin immunoreactivity was found in 59 (77%) patients. Abnormal expression of E-cadherin was associated with muscle invasive disease (p = 0.010) and lymph node metastasis (p = 0.044). Of the 18 carcinoma in situ specimens 15 (83%) and of the 17 metastatic lymph nodes 13 (76%) had abnormal E-cadherin expression. Concordance rates of E-cadherin status in carcinoma in situ areas and metastatic lymph nodes with the primary tumors were 85% and 88%, respectively. At a median followup of 128 months, abnormal E-cadherin expression was significantly associated with disease progression (p = 0.0219) and bladder cancer specific survival (p = 0.037). E-cadherin expression and pathological stage but not grade were independent predictors of disease progression (p = 0.042, 0.047 and 0.158, respectively).


In bladder cancer altered E-cadherin expression is associated with the degree of invasiveness, lymph node metastasis and increased risk of death from bladder cancer. Furthermore, E-cadherin status is an independent predictor of disease progression in patients treated with cystectomy for transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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