Allelic loss on chromosome 9q is a very frequent event in bladder carcinogenesis. In recent years, efforts have been directed towards identifying the postulated tumour suppressor genes on this chromosome arm by deletion mapping and mutation analysis. However, no convincing candidate genes have been identified. This paper describes the development of chromosome 9q alterations in multiple recurrent superficial bladder cancers of ten patients and shows that loss of heterozygosity (LOH) on this chromosome is almost never the characteristic first step. The regions of loss are multiple and variable in different tumours from the same patient and expand in subsequent tumours. Moreover, the regions of loss vary from patient to patient. It is concluded that even if 9q harbours a bladder cancer gatekeeper gene, it is unlikely that the gene will be identified through LOH analysis alone.
Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.