Objectives: To investigate the role of angiogenesis in predicting tumor recurrence and its correlation with established clinicopathologic prognostic factors in superficial transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder.
Methods: The paraffin sections of 80 superficial papillary transitional cell bladder carcinoma specimens were stained with CD31 antibody to label the vascular endothelium using the standard streptavidin-biotin-immunoperoxidase method. The vascular surface density (VSD) equivalent to the vascular surface area per unit of tissue volume and number of vessels per square millimeter of stroma (NVES) were assessed by means of stereology, and these morphometric parameters of angiogenesis were statistically analyzed to interpret the relation to tumor recurrence in addition to tumor stage, grade, size, and number and the presence of carcinoma in situ.
Results: VSD and NVES values showed no statistically significant difference between pTa and pT1 tumors or patients with and without recurrence. In contrast, VSD and NVES values were found to increase in higher grade tumors (P = 0.019). VSD values were also higher in patients with coexisting carcinoma in situ in pTa tumors (P <0.001). Tumor number and size and recurrence number and time to the first recurrence did not correlate with any vascular parameters.
Conclusions: Stereologic assessment of angiogenesis does not help to predict recurrence in superficial bladder cancer. Angiogenic parameters appeared to be well correlated with the conventional histologic grading system. Otherwise, the present study did not show any correlation of angiogenesis with any potential prognostic factors. This may be due to the diverse angiogenic pathways occurring in invasive and superficial tumors.