Purpose: We tested whether the altered immunohistochemical expression of angiogenesis related markers is associated with outcomes of patients with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder, and assessed the correlation of angiogenesis related markers with molecular markers commonly altered in urothelial bladder carcinoma.
Materials and methods: Vascular endothelial growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor and thrombospondin 1 expression data were collected, as were microvessel density data. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on specimens from 204 patients treated with radical cystectomy for urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. We also stained serial sections of the specimens for cyclin E1, cyclin D1, p53, p21, p27, pRB, Ki-67, Bcl-2, caspase-3, survivin and cyclooxygenase-2. We measured time to disease recurrence and cancer specific mortality, as well as the association with clinical and pathological features and other molecular markers.
Results: The altered expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (over expression), basic fibroblast growth factor (over expression) and thrombospondin 1 (decreased expression) was 86%, 79% and 63%, respectively. Median microvessel density was 20. All 4 markers were associated with established clinicopathological features of aggressive urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (such as stage, lymphovascular invasion and lymph node metastasis) and other molecular markers. On multivariable analyses that adjusted for standard pathological features basic fibroblast growth factor and thrombospondin 1 were independent predictors of disease recurrence (HR 3.6, p = 0.002 and HR 2.2, p = 0.001, respectively) and cancer specific mortality (HR 2.8, p = 0.02 and HR 2.3, p = 0.003, respectively). When all 4 markers were included in 1 model basic fibroblast growth factor and thrombospondin 1 retained their independent association with disease recurrence (HR 2.9, p = 0.014 and HR 1.8, p = 0.022, respectively) and only thrombospondin 1 was independently associated with cancer specific mortality (HR 1.9, p = 0.031).
Conclusions: Angiogenesis related molecular markers are commonly altered in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder, making them a target for therapy. Down-regulation of thrombospondin 1 and up-regulation of basic fibroblast growth factor are independent predictors of clinical outcomes of patients with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.
2010 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.