Objectives: Histological grade (G) is the only parameter proved to have prognostic value for progression in T1 transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder, although it is considered inaccurate to make clinical decisions on individuals. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the prognostic relevance of p53 expression in T1 TCC of the bladder.
Methods: Clinical records of 207 patients with T1 TCC of the bladder were reviewed for clinical parameters reported to influence the evolution of superficial bladder cancer. Among these 207 patients, 40 developed muscle-invasive disease (20 G2 and 20 G3). A retrospective case-control study was then carried out comparing the latter 40 tumours with 40 control tumours matched by grade, sex, age, number and size of the tumours, chemical exposure and presence of carcinoma in situ. p53 immunostaining with monoclonal antibody was performed in these two groups.
Results: Histological grade was the only clinical parameter that influenced evolution. p53 expression correlated with tumour progression, since it was observed in 21 out of 24 p53-positive tumours and in only 20 of 56 p53-negative tumours (p<0.0001), showing a specificity of 93. 5% and a sensitivity of 53%. p53 expression correlated as well with patient survival, being 39% in patients with p53-positive tumours and 80% in patients with p53-negative tumours at 60 months (p<0. 0001).
Conclusions: p53 protein expression has prognostic value for survival and progression in T1 bladder tumours and can be used for early detection of poor-prognosis T1 bladder tumours.