The expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been suggested to play an important role in the progression of bladder cancer through paracrine stimulation by epidermal growth factor in the urine. However, there is no information regarding the expression of EGFR and urinary ligand measurement in corresponding tumors in patients with bladder cancer.
Materials and methods: Paired analysis of urinary levels of epidermal growth factor (U-EGF) and the expression of EGFR was performed on 48 cases of bladder cancer. U-EGF test and EGFR status were correlated with clinicopathologic factors of bladder cancer, and compared for their prognostic value with a mean follow-up of 39.7 months.
Results: U-EGF was inversely correlated with the intensity of EGFR expression (p = 0.04); while no substantial relationship was observed with other conventional prognostic indicators (p > 0.1, respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that factors correlated with the risk of recurrence were EGFR status (p = 0.03) and histological grading (p = 0.05). An important indicator associated with poor patient survival was size of tumor at diagnosis (p = 0.03).
Discussion: Although measurement of U-EGF levels did not have any independent prognostic value, our data support the importance of urine EGF/urothelial EGFR interaction in the biological behavior of bladder cancer.