Expression of E-cadherin and alpha-, beta-, gamma-catenins in patients with bladder cancer: identification of gamma-catenin as a new prognostic marker of neoplastic progression in T1 superficial urothelial tumors

Am J Clin Pathol. 2006 Jan;125(1):119-26.


Loss of intercellular adhesion facilitates tumor invasion. To clarify the relation between altered expression of cell adhesion molecules and progression of T1 superficial bladder tumors, 101 cases (71 T1 tumors, 30 T2/T3 tumors) were examined immunohistochemically for E-cadherin and alpha-, beta-, and gamma-catenins. A highly significant correlation was observed between the decreased expression of all molecules and increased TNM stage (P < .001). Univariate analysis, performed in cases of T1 tumors, revealed association of abnormal E-cadherin with beta-catenin diminution. Survival curves were established with the Kaplan-Meier method and analyzed according to clinical and histopathologic parameters using the log-rank test. Cox multivariate analysis revealed only gamma-catenin as an independent predictor of progression-free survival in patients with stage T1 bladder urothelial tumors. The characterization of T1 tumors that will progress could lead to the identification of patients who might benefit from surgery to avoid vesical muscle invasion and, consequently, metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Cadherins / biosynthesis*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology*
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Muscle Neoplasms / secondary
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Analysis
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Urothelium / metabolism
  • alpha Catenin / biosynthesis*
  • beta Catenin / biosynthesis*
  • gamma Catenin / analysis
  • gamma Catenin / biosynthesis*


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