Molecular aspects of bladder cancer III. Prognostic markers of bladder cancer

Eur Urol. 2002 Jan;41(1):15-29. doi: 10.1016/s0302-2838(01)00007-0.


The current pathological and clinical parameters provide important prognostic information, yet still have limited ability to predict the true malignant potential of most bladder tumors. In the last years, investigation of the basic mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis and tumor progression by molecular biology has provided a host of markers which are of potential diagnostic or prognostic value for bladder carcinoma. These markers may serve as tools for early and accurate prediction of tumor recurrence, progression and development of metastases and for prediction of response to therapy. The precise prediction of tumor biological behavior would facilitate treatment selection for patients who may benefit from radical surgical treatment or adjuvant therapy. We provide a current, comprehensive review of the literature on bladder tumor markers with a special emphasis on their prognostic potential. The literature suggests that currently no single marker is able to accurately predict the clinical course of bladder tumors and thus would serve as a reliable prognosticator. A combination of prognostic markers could predict which superficial tumors need an aggressive form of therapy and which invasive tumors require adjuvant therapy. Altogether, the most promising markers are, at this point, Ki-67 and p53 expression as well as matrixmetalloproteinase complex and angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / standards*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Biology
  • Prognosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Genetic Markers