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Clin Cancer Res. 2004 May 15;10(10):3410-21.

Identifying superficial, muscle-invasive, and metastasizing transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder: use of cDNA array analysis of gene expression profiles.

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Department of Chemical Oncology, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.



Expression profiling by DNA microarray technology permits the identification of genes underlying clinical heterogeneity of bladder cancer and which might contribute to disease progression, thereby improving assessment of treatment and prediction of patient outcome.


Invasive (20) and superficial (22) human bladder tumors from 34 patients with known outcome regarding disease recurrence and progression were analyzed by filter-based cDNA arrays (Atlas Human Cancer 1.2; BD Biosciences Clontech) containing 1185 genes. For 9 genes, array data were confirmed using real-time reverse transcription-PCR. Additionally, Atlas array data were validated using Affymetrix GeneChip oligonucleotide arrays with 22,283 human gene fragments and expressed sequence tags sequences in a subset of three superficial and six invasive bladder tumors.


A two-way clustering algorithm using different subsets of gene expression data, including a subset of 41 genes validated by the oligonucleotide array (Affymetrix), classified tumor samples according to clinical outcome as superficial, invasive, or metastasizing. Furthermore, (a) a clonal origin of superficial tumors, (b) highly similar gene expression patterns in different areas of invasive tumors, and (c) an invasive-like pattern was observed in bladder mucosas derived from patients with locally advanced disease. Several gene clusters that characterized invasive or superficial tumors were identified. In superficial bladder tumors, increased mRNA levels of genes encoding transcription factors, molecules involved in protein synthesis and metabolism, and some proteins involved into cell cycle progression and differentiation were observed, whereas transcripts for immune, extracellular matrix, adhesion, peritumoral stroma and muscle tissue components, proliferation, and cell cycle controllers were up-regulated in invasive tumors.


Gene expression profiling of human bladder cancers provides insight into the biology of bladder cancer progression and identifies patients with distinct clinical phenotypes.

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