Background: The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the expression levels of p53, p21 and pRB as predictors of for long-term organ preservation and survival in patients with bladder carcinoma who were treated with bladder-sparing intent using a combined-modality approach.
Methods: Tumor samples from 82 consecutive patients with localized invasive bladder carcinoma treated on 3 different bladder-sparing studies were examined for p53, p21, and pRB expression by immunohistochemical methods. Treatment consisted of transurethral resection, platinum-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and, according to response, either radiotherapy or radical cystectomy. The median follow-up duration was 55 months.
Results: Positive immunoreactivity for p53, p21, and pRB was observed in 47%, 52%, and 67% of patients, respectively. Positive p53 immunoreactivity and positive p21 immunoreactivity were independent predictors of decreased survival with bladder preservation (P = 0.02 and P = 0.02, respectively) and disease-free survival (DFS; P = 0.005 and P = 0.009, respectively) in a multivariate analysis adjusting for clinical stage, ureteral obstruction, and age. Regarding overall survival (OS), p53 overexpression was associated with poor outcome (P = 0.03), whereas the association of poor outcome with p21 expression did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.07). No association between pRB immunoreactivity and outcome was found. When the combined expression of p53 and p21 was assessed, the positive expression of both markers was a strong and unfavorable prognostic factor for survival with bladder preservation (P = 0.006), DFS (P = 0.003), and OS (P = 0.02).
Conclusions: Expression levels of p53 and p21, especially when simultaneously assessed, exhibit independent predictive value for long-term bladder preservation and survival in patients with bladder carcinoma treated with combined-modality therapy. These determinations could be useful in the selection of candidates for bladder-preserving treatment.
Copyright 2004 American Cancer Society.