Current status of prognostic immunohistochemical markers for urothelial bladder cancer

Tumour Biol. 2008;29(5):311-22. doi: 10.1159/000170878. Epub 2008 Nov 5.


The management and prognostication of patients with urothelial carcinomas (UCs), the most common histological type of bladder cancer, is mainly based on clinicopathological parameters. Several markers have been proposed to monitor this disease, including individual cell cycle-related proteins such as p53, pRb, p16, p21 and p27. Other putative markers are the oncogene products of FGFR3 and the ErbB family, proliferation markers including Ki-67, Aurora-A and survivin and different components within the immune system. In this review, a total of 12 parameters were evaluated and their discriminatory power compared. It is concluded that, in single-marker analyses, the proliferation markers Ki-67, survivin and Aurora-A offer the best potential to predict disease progression since they were all able to demonstrate independent prognostic power in repeated studies. Markers related to the immune system (e.g. CD8+ cells, regulatory T cells and cyclooxygenase-2 expression) or oncogene products of the ErbB family and FGFR3 are less powerful predictors of outcome or have not been equally well studied. The cell cycle-related proteins p53, pRb, p16, p21 and p27 have been extensively studied, but their usefulness as single prognostic markers remains unclear. However, in multimarker analyses, these markers appear to add prognostic information, indicating that they may contribute to more accurate treatment of UC.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Prognosis
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnosis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor