Is beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin production by transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder a marker of aggressive disease and resistance to radiotherapy?

Br J Urol. 1993 Dec;72(6):907-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410x.1993.tb16294.x.


The biopsies from 75 patients with transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder (25 Ta-T1; 45 T2-T4, 5M) were studied immunohistochemically for the expression of beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta-HCG). Only 5 Ta-T1 tumours contained a small number of beta-HCG positive cells but 24 invasive tumours and all patients with metastases showed increased numbers of positive cells. A significant correlation was found between beta-HCG immunoreactivity and tumour category. In 30 patients with muscle-invasive disease (T2-T4,N0,M0) who were treated with radical radiotherapy a significant correlation was observed between response to treatment and beta-HCG expression; beta-HCG positive tumours did not respond to treatment. A difference in survival was found between patients with tumours negative for beta-HCG compared with patients with positive tumours, all treated with radical radiotherapy. The results indicate that beta-HCG expression increases with tumour invasiveness and the use of immunohistochemistry may prove a useful means of identifying radioresistant and aggressive forms of bladder cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / chemistry*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / radiotherapy
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / analysis*
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Peptide Fragments / analysis*
  • Prognosis
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / radiotherapy


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin, beta Subunit, Human
  • Peptide Fragments