The Prognostic Value of E-cadherin, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gamma-Catenin in Urothelial Cancer of the Upper Urinary Tract

Eur Urol. 2006 May;49(5):839-45; discussion 845. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2005.12.023. Epub 2006 Jan 6.


Objectives: To determine the value of loss of the expression of E-cadherin and cadherin-associated molecules as useful markers for both prognosis and bladder recurrence in patients with upper urinary tract cancer.

Materials and methods: In 61 paraffin-embedded nephroureterectomy specimens, the expression of E-cadherin and alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin was examined by immunohistochemical staining. To evaluate the prognostic significance, Kaplan-Meier survival curves were calculated and compared by the log-rank test. A multivariate test was performed to detect prognostic markers.

Results: Normal expression was found in 32 cases (52.5%) for E-cadherin, 41 cases (67.2%) for alpha-catenin, 42 cases (68.9%) for beta-catenin, and 31 cases (50.8%) for gamma-catenin. The expression patterns of E-cadherin and alpha-, beta- and gamma-catenin were significantly correlated with each other. Survival analysis showed a significant difference between normal and aberrant expression in each staining. Multivariate analysis revealed that tumor stage and the expression of E-cadherin were independent prognostic factors for cause-specific survival. In contrast, there was no significant correlation between the expression of E-cadherin and alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenin and bladder recurrence.

Conclusion: Our data suggest E-cadherin may be a good prognostic marker for patients with upper urinary tract cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / mortality
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • alpha Catenin / metabolism*
  • beta Catenin / metabolism*
  • gamma Catenin / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cadherins
  • alpha Catenin
  • beta Catenin
  • gamma Catenin