Molecular evidence indicates that alterations in genes involved in the maintenance of genome stability may be related to susceptibility to bladder carcinoma. Our goal was to evaluate the prognostic role of base excision repair (BER) genes in a cohort of patients diagnosed with primary urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB). The levels of all APE1, XRCC1 and POLB transcripts were detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) technique in tumor samples from 52 patients undergoing transurethral resection (TUR) for primary UCB at the Department of Urology, Brazilian National Cancer Institute, Rio de Janeiro. Increased levels of APE1, XRCC1 and POLB transcripts were significantly associated with high-grade tumors when compared to these levels in low-grade tumors (p<0.01) and could be attributed to different mechanisms of transcriptional regulation as a response to tumorigenesis and oxidative stress. By analyzing the collected data in the present study, regardless of pathological grade or stage, univariate analysis revealed that the reduced levels of APE1 transcripts were significantly associated with cancer-specific mortality (p=0.032). Furthermore, the variant genotype (TG/GG) of the APE1 T1349G polymorphism was observed in 75% of a subset of patients who concomitantly experienced reduced levels of the APE1 transcript and death and/or recurrence events. Taken together, our data reinforce the idea that human DNA repair mechanisms must be finely regulated in order to avoid instability leading to tumorigenesis and poor clinical outcomes in UCB patients.