Small cell carcinomas (SCCs) represent a rare histological subtype of urinary bladder cancer. Little is known abut the genetic alterations in these tumours. To identify chromosomal aberrations that are typically present in SCC of the urinary bladder, ten tumours were analysed by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). CGH allows screening for all relative DNA copy number gains and losses present in a tumour. SCCs of the bladder were characterized by a high number of genomic alterations (mean: 11.3 per tumour). Deletions were most frequent at 10q (7 of 10 tumours deleted), 4q, 5q (5/10 each), and 13q (4/10). These regions may carry tumour suppressor genes with relevance for this particular tumour type. Gains of DNA sequences were most prevalent at 8q (5/10), 5p, 6p, and 20q (4/10 each). High level amplifications were found at 1p22-32, 3q26.3, 8q24, and 12q14-21. These loci may pinpoint the localization of oncogenes with relevance for small cell bladder cancer. The analysis of one tumour having areas of both SCC and transitional cell carcinoma strongly suggests that SCC can develop from TCC through the acquisition of additional genetic alterations.
Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.