Background: Loss of E-cadherin-catenin mediated adhesion is known to play a major role in tumour progression in many human carcinomas.
Materials and methods: By means of immunohistochemistry, we have investigated the expression of E-cadherin, beta-catenin and p120ctn in 102 transitional cell bladder carcinomas (TCCs) and statistically analysed these expressions with known clinicopathological parameters and patient survival.
Results: Abnormal expression of E-cadherin, beta-catenin and p120ctn was associated with high grade and high stage of TCCs (p < 0.001). Abnormal beta-catenin expression demonstrated a statistically significant correlation with poor patient survival (p = 0.03) while abnormal E-cadherin expression was associated with poor survival in patients with muscle invasive TCCs (p = 0.025). However, in multivariate statistical analysis a suggestive association with poor survival was observed only for E-cadherin (p = 0.06). Simultaneous abnormal expression of all the molecules demonstrated an association of suggestive significance with poor patient survival (p = 0.07).
Conclusion: E-cadherin expression may be a useful prognostic marker in patients with invasive TCCs.