Altered expression of retinoblastoma protein and known prognostic variables in locally advanced bladder cancer

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1992 Aug 19;84(16):1256-61. doi: 10.1093/jnci/84.16.1256.


Background: The clinical behavior of the tumor in patients with locally advanced bladder carcinoma is unpredictable. Current predictors of clinical behavior include depth of muscle invasion, presence of vascular invasion, proliferation rate, and loss of blood group antigens. Treatment selection would be facilitated by the development of a reliable marker of tumor progression. Functional retinoblastoma (RB) gene loss has been reported to occur in bladder carcinoma, but the significance of this loss is unknown.

Purpose: We have evaluated the frequency of functional loss of the RB gene in locally advanced bladder carcinoma and have compared the results to known prognostic factors in the same cohort.

Methods: Forty-three study patients with pathologically well-characterized, locally advanced bladder carcinoma, who were placed in a protocol incorporating surgery and chemotherapy, were studied for known clinical and pathological prognostic indicators as well as for their Rb status. Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded archival primary tumor tissues were used for histological and immunohistochemical analyses.

Results: Altered Rb protein expression was documented in 37% of the tumor specimens. The high rate of altered Rb expression found in this cohort with advanced urothelial tumors strongly suggests that RB functional loss may be associated with tumor progression in this malignancy. Altered Rb protein expression was found to be independent of other known prognostic variables. A significantly poorer tumor-free survival rate also was noted for those patients who had a tumor with an altered Rb protein with or without vascular invasion.

Conclusion: The high frequency of Rb alteration in locally advanced bladder carcinomas, plus the fact that a significant correlation could not be found between the Rb status and other known prognostic markers in this preliminary study, suggests that altered RB expression may be an independent prognostic marker of tumor progression in bladder cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, Retinoblastoma
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / analysis*
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / genetics
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology


  • Retinoblastoma Protein