Cytogenetic studies of bladder cancer have helped to define two clinically distinct subtypes: benign tumors with few genetic mutations and a stable karyotype and aggressive cancers with chromosomal instability and many non-random cytogenetic aberrations. While the cytogenetic data does not provide complete information, these studies have been important for suggesting pathways for bladder carcinoma initiation and its progression. In addition, molecular cytogenetic studies have proven useful for diagnosing bladder cancer and for monitoring patients for cancer recurrence. More detailed molecular genetic studies and expression array analyses are needed to fully comprehend the biologic processes associated with urothelial cancers, but cytogenetics studies have laid the foundation for further investigation.
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