Overexpression of HMGA2 in bladder cancer and its association with clinicopathologic features and prognosis HMGA2 as a prognostic marker of bladder cancer

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2011 Mar;37(3):265-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2011.01.004. Epub 2011 Jan 26.


Purpose: To examine HMGA2 expression and investigate its clinical and prognostic significance in human urothelial bladder cancer (BUC).

Methods: We detected HMGA2 mRNA and protein expression by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and western blotting, respectively in 44 frozen bladder cancer tissues and 18 adjacent normal bladder tissues. HMGA2 protein expression was assessed by immunohistochemical analysis of 148 paraffin-embedded specimens of human BUC and 30 specimens of adjacent normal bladder tissue. Correlations between HMGA2 and clinicopathologic features and prognosis were tested by statistical analyses.

Results: HMGA2 mRNA and protein levels in bladder cancer samples were significantly increased compared with adjacent normal bladder tissues (P < 0.001). mRNA overexpression correlated with high stage and grade of the bladder cancer (P < 0.001 and P = 0.002 respectively). HMGA2 protein expression was negative in all normal urothelial tissue samples, but positive in 52% (77/148) of bladder cancers (P < 0.001). HMGA2 expression correlated with tumor grade and stage (P < 0.001 and P = 0.003 respectively), Overexpression of HMGA2 protein in non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer was significantly associated with shorter recurrence-free survival (P < 0.001), and progression-free survival (P = 0.0004). Multivariate analysis showed that HMGA2 expression was an independent prognostic factor for both tumor recurrence (P < 0.001) and tumor progression (P = 0.006).

Conclusions: HMGA2 is up-regulated in bladder cancer at both the transcriptional and translational levels compared with normal bladder tissue, HMGA2 protein is thus a potential prognostic marker for predicting tumor recurrence and progression.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • HMGA2 Protein / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • HMGA2 Protein
  • RNA, Messenger