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Urol Oncol. 2014 Jan;32(1):54.e9-17. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2013.08.031.

Expression and predictive value of lymph-specific markers in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.

Author information

1
Department of Urology, Mannheim Medical Center, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.
2
Institute of Pathology, University Hospital, Göttingen, Germany.
3
Department of Urology, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
4
Department of Urology, University Hospital, Münster, Germany.
5
Department of Urology, Mannheim Medical Center, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address: christian.bolenz@umm.de.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the expression of multiple lymph-specific markers and to test its association with histopathological characteristics and clinical outcomes in patients with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) treated by radical cystectomy (RC).

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Vascular endothelial growth factor-C and -D (VEGF-C/-D), its receptor VEGF receptor-3 (VEGFR-3), and chemokine receptor type 7 (CCR7) expressions were assessed by immunohistochemistry in RC specimens of 119 patients. Semiquantitative analyses of marker expressions were correlated with clinical and pathological characteristics. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed to identify predictors of disease-specific survival (DSS) and recurrence free survival (RFS).

RESULTS:

VEGF-C, VEGF-D, VEGFR-3, and CCR7 were overexpressed in 37.8%, 26.2%, 50.4%, and 23.5% of UCB samples, respectively. VEGF-D overexpression was significantly associated with a positive lymph node status (pN+). On univariable analysis, a higher pT stage, pN+, the presence of lymphovascular invasion (LVI) and vascular invasion (VI) (all P<0.001), and overexpressions of VEGF-D (P = 0.049) and VEGFR-3 (P = 0.032) were significantly associated with reduced DSS. On multivariable analysis, pT stage (P = 0.002) and pN+status (P = 0.009) were identified as independent predictors of reduced DSS. In a subgroup of patients without lymph node metastasis (pN0; n = 75), pT stage (P = 0.043) and VEGFR-3 overexpression (P = 0.008) were independent predictors of reduced DSS.

CONCLUSION:

Lymph-specific markers are frequently overexpressed in UCB. VEGF-D overexpression is associated with the presence of lymphatic metastasis. In patients without lymph node metastasis at the time of RC, an assessment of VEGFR-3 expression may improve the identification of high-risk patients. These findings require prospective validation to determine the potential benefit of more aggressive adjuvant treatment.

KEYWORDS:

Bladder cancer; Immunohistochemistry; Lymphangiogenesis; Lymphatic vessels; Prognosis; Vascular endothelial growth factors

PMID:
24360666
DOI:
10.1016/j.urolonc.2013.08.031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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