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1.  Ep-CAM: a human epithelial antigen is a homophilic cell-cell adhesion molecule 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1994;125(2):437-446.
The epithelial glycoprotein 40 (EGP40, also known as GA733-2, ESA, KSA, and the 17-1A antigen), encoded by the GA-733-2 gene, is expressed on the baso-lateral cell surface in most human simple epithelia. The protein is also expressed in the vast majority of carcinomas and has attracted attention as a tumor marker. The function of the protein is unknown. We demonstrate here that EGP40 is an epithelium-specific intercellular adhesion molecule. The molecule mediates, in a Ca(2+)- independent manner, a homophilic cell-cell adhesion of murine cells transfected with the complete EGP40 cDNA. Two murine cell lines were tested for the effects of EGP40 expression: fibroblastic L cells and dedifferentiated mammary carcinoma L153S cells. The expression of the EGP40 protein causes morphological changes in cultures of transfected cells--increasing intercellular adhesion of the transfectants--and has a clear effect on cell aggregating behavior in suspension aggregation assays. EGP40 directs sorting in mixed cell populations, in particular, causes segregation of the transfectants from the corresponding parental cells. EGP40 expression suppresses invasive colony growth of L cells in EHS-matrigel providing tight adhesions between cells in growing colonies. EGP40 can thus be considered a new member of the intercellular adhesion molecules. In its biological behavior EGP40 resembles to some extent the molecules of the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), although no immunoglobulin-like repeats are present in the EGP40 molecule. Certain structural similarities in general organization of the molecule exist between EGP40 and the lin-12/Notch proteins. A possible role of this adhesion molecule in formation of architecture of epithelial tissues is discussed. To reflect the function of the molecule the name Ep-CAM for EGP40 seems appropriate.
PMCID: PMC2120036  PMID: 8163559
2.  Long-term prognostic value of the combination of EORTC risk group calculator and molecular markers in non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients treated with intravesical Bacille Calmette-Guérin 
Urology Annals  2011;3(3):119-126.
Background and Objectives:
To evaluate the long-term prognostic value of the combination of the EORTC risk calculator and proapoptotic, antiapoptotic, proliferation, and invasiveness molecular markers in predicting the outcome of intermediate- and high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) treated with intravesical Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) therapy.
Materials and Methods:
This study included 42 patients accrued prospectively presenting with intermediate- to high-risk NMIBC (high-grade T1 tumors or multiple rapidly recurrent tumors refractory to intravesical chemotherapy) treated with transurethral resection (TUR) and BCG. TUR samples were analyzed for the molecular markers p53, p21 waf1/cip, Bcl-2, CyclinD1, and metallothionein 9 (MMP9) using immunohistochemistry. Frequency of positivity, measured as a percentage, was assessed alone or in combination with EORTC risk calculator, for interaction with outcome in terms of recurrence and progression using univariate analysis and Kaplan-Meier survival curves.
Median follow-up was 88 months (mean, 99; range, 14-212 months). The overall recurrence rate was 61.9% and progression rate was 21.4%. In univariate analysis, CyclinD1 and EORTC risk groups were significantly associated with recurrence (P value 0.03 and 0.02, respectively), although none of the markers showed a correlation to progression. In combining EORTC risk groups to markers expression status, high-risk group associated with positive MMP9, Bcl-2, CyclinD1, or p21 was significantly correlated to tumor recurrence (log rank P values <0.001, 0.03, 0.02, and 0.006, respectively) and when associated with positive MMP9 or p21, it was significantly correlated to progression (log rank P values 0.01 and 0.04, respectively).
Molecular markers have a long-term prognostic value when combined with EORTC scoring system and they may be used to improve the predictive accuracy of currently existing scoring system. Larger series are needed to confirm these findings.
PMCID: PMC3183702  PMID: 21976923
BCG; Bcl-2; bladder cancer; cyclinD1; EORTC; high risk; long-term response; metallothionein 9; p53; p21; waf1/cip
3.  Invasive front of colorectal cancer: Dynamic interface of pro-/anti-tumor factors 
Tumor-host interaction at the invasive front of colorectal cancer represents a critical interface encompassing a dynamic process of de-differentiation of colorectal carcinoma cells known as epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT can be identified histologically by the presence of “tumor budding”, a feature which can be highly specific for tumors showing an infiltrating tumor growth pattern. Importantly, tumor budding and tumor border configuration have generated considerable interest as additional prognostic factors and are also recognized as such by the International Union Against Cancer. Evidence seems to suggest that the presence of tumor budding or an infiltrating growth pattern is inversely correlated with the presence of immune and inflammatory responses at the invasive tumor front. In fact, several tumor-associated antigens such as CD3, CD4, CD8, CD20, Granzyme B, FOXP3 and other immunological or inflammatory cell types have been identified as potentially prognostic in patients with this disease. Evidence seems to suggest that the balance between pro-tumor (including budding and infiltrating growth pattern) and anti-tumor (immune response or certain inflammatory cell types) factors at the invasive front of colorectal cancer may be decisive in determining tumor progression and the clinical outcome of patients with colorectal cancer. On one hand, the infiltrating tumor border configuration and tumor budding promote progression and dissemination of tumor cells by penetrating the vascular and lymphatic vessels. On the other, the host attempts to fend off this attack by mounting an immune response to protect vascular and lymphatic channels from invasion by tumor buds. Whereas standard pathology reporting of breast and prostate cancer involves additional prognostic features, such as the BRE and Gleason scores, the ratio of pro- and anti-tumor factors could be a promising approach for the future development of a prognostic score for patients with colorectal cancer which could complement tumor node metastasis staging to improve the clinical management of patients with this disease.
PMCID: PMC2795176  PMID: 20014453
Colorectal cancer; Prognosis; Tumor invasive front; Tumor budding; Tumor growth pattern; Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes; Tumor immunity; Microsatellite instability
4.  Low molecular weight cyclin E is associated with p27-resistant, high-grade, high-stage and invasive bladder cancer 
Cell Cycle  2012;11(7):1468-1476.
Expression of low molecular weight (LMW) isoforms of cyclin E is a strong predictor of poor outcome in patients with breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine the expression of full-length and LMW cyclin E in bladder cancer cell lines and patient tumors. We used western blotting, immunoprecipitation and kinase assays to examine the expression and activity of key cell cycle-regulatory proteins in various human bladder cell lines, both tumorigenic and non-tumorigenic. We also analyzed cyclin E expression, kinase activity and immune complex binding partners in 43 tissue samples from grade 2 and 3 transitional cell carcinomas. Cyclin E was overexpressed and LMW isoforms were present only in bladder cancer cells. Overexpression of LMW isoforms of cyclin E and increased cyclin E kinase activity were both significantly associated with tumorigenicity of the bladder cell lines (p = 0.005 and 0.022, respectively). Binding of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21 and p27 to LMW cyclin E did not inhibit the kinase activity of cyclin E and cyclin-dependent kinase 2 in primary tumor samples overexpressing LMW cyclin E. Full-length and LMW cyclin E were significantly overexpressed in grade 3 tumors compared with grade 2 tumors (p = 0.004). Finally, LMW cyclin E levels were significantly associated with a non-papillary growth pattern (p = 0.031) and invasiveness (p = 0.021) of the bladder tumors and poor overall survival (p = 0.06). These results suggest that LMW cyclin E can be used as a new prognostic marker for bladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC3350882  PMID: 22441703
cyclin E; p27; Cdk2 kinase; bladder cancer; cell cycle
5.  Estrogen receptor-β expression and pharmacological targeting in bladder cancer 
Oncology Reports  2013;30(1):131-138.
A role for estrogen signaling in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) is suggested to be associated with more advanced disease with worse outcomes in women. Estrogen receptor β (ERβ) is the predominant receptor in bladder tissues. We aimed to ascertain whether ERβ correlates with clinicopathological predictors of aggressive bladder cancer and worse survival outcomes. ERβ was measured by immunohistochemistry in malignant and adjacent benign bladder tissues in patients (N=72) with UCB who underwent radical cystectomy. ERβ expression was tested for statistical association with clinicopathological variables and patient survival. ERβ expression was determined in bladder cancer cell lines, and the effects of the selective estrogen modulator tamoxifen and the ERβ agonist diarylpropionitrile on cell growth were determined. The ERβ level was significantly higher in malignant vs. benign urothelium (P<0.001) and was strongly associated with aggressive tumor histology characterized by lymphovascular (P=0.008) and perineural (P=0.006) invasion, and clinical histories of pelvic irradiation (P=0.005), hydronephrosis (P=0.022) and no intravesical chemotherapy (P=0.038). All patients with a high (>70%) percentage of ERβ positivity in tissue with >3-month follow-up developed recurrent disease (P=0.009). Higher ERβ level was predictive of worse recurrence-free and overall survival following cystectomy, after adjustment for tumor stage, and remained significantly associated with recurrence-free survival in the multivariable analysis including tumor stage, nodal stage and lymphovascular invasion. Activation of ERβ in bladder cancer cell lines led to significant increases in proliferation, while pharmacological inhibition with tamoxifen blocked cell growth. Our study supports a role for ERβ in aggressive UCB. Pharmacological targeting of ERβ warrants further investigation as a therapeutic strategy in UCB.
PMCID: PMC3729232  PMID: 23612777
epigenetic; hormonal; urothelial; transitional cell
6.  High frequency of tumor cells with nuclear Egr-1 protein expression in human bladder cancer is associated with disease progression 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:385.
Egr-1 (early growth response-1 transcription factor) has been proposed to be involved in invasion and metastasis processes of human bladder cancer, but Egr-1 protein expression levels in human bladder cancer have not been investigated. In the present study we investigated the expression levels of Egr-1 protein in early stages of human bladder cancer and correlated it to later progression.
Expression of Egr-1 protein in human bladder cancer was examined by immunohistochemistry, on a tissue microarray constructed from tumors from 289 patients with non-muscle invasive urothelial bladder cancer.
The frequency of tumor cells with nuclear Egr-1 immunolabelling correlated to bladder cancer stage, grade and to later progression to muscle-invasive bladder cancer (T2-4). Stage T1 tumors exhibited significantly higher frequencies of tumor cells with nuclear Egr-1 immunolabelling than Ta tumors (P = 0.001). Furthermore, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that a high frequency of tumor cells with nuclear Egr-1 immunolabelling was significantly associated with a higher risk of progression to stage T2-4 (log-rank test, P = 0.035). Tumor cells with nuclear Egr-1 immunolabelling were found to localize at the tumor front in some of the tumor biopsies.
The results from this study support a potential involvement of Egr-1 in the progression from non-muscle invasive bladder cancers to muscle invasive bladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC2774864  PMID: 19878561
7.  Predictors of Intravesical Therapy Use in Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer: Results from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, And End-Results Program’s 2003 Patterns of Care Project 
The Journal of Urology  2008;180(2):520-524.
In response to variations in cancer care, organizations have developed clinical guidelines. In the case of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (also known as superficial bladder cancer), two similar sets of guidelines were released in the late 1990’s that provide care recommendations. The purpose of this study was to examine patterns of intravesical therapy utilization in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer in 2003, to determine if disparities in the quality of cancer care remained.
Data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results (SEER) Program’s 2003 bladder cancer patterns of care project were used. Subjects newly diagnosed with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer in 2003 were included. Clinical and sociodemographic data were obtained from the SEER program and detailed medical record review. Statistical analyses were performed to identify independent predictors of intravesical therapy use in the entire cohort and in a subset of high-risk patients.
685 patients were included in the study. 216 (31.5%) patients received intravesical therapy. In addition to higher tumor stage and grade, intravesical therapy use was independently associated with race/ethnicity and geographic region. In the subset of 350 high-risk patients, 42% received intravesical therapy. Stage, grade, race/ethnicity and geographic region were independently associated with intravesical therapy use in this sub-cohort.
These data suggest there is underutilization of intravesical therapy, even in patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, and disparities in the quality of care exist. Barriers to utilization of this cancer treatment must be identified, particularly in higher-risk individuals, and providers must become more aware of existing clinical guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3327445  PMID: 18550088
non-muscle invasive bladder cancer; intravesical therapy; disparities; quality of care; clinical guidelines
8.  Role of the VEGF ligand to receptor ratio in the progression of mismatch repair-proficient colorectal cancer 
BMC Cancer  2010;10:93.
The VEGF family of ligands and receptors are intimately involved in tumor angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and metastasis. The evaluation of VEGF ligand/receptor ratios may provide a more profound understanding of the involvement of these proteins in colorectal tumour progression. The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of the VEGF ligand/receptor ratios on tumour progression and metastasis in patients with mismatch repair-proficient colorectal cancer.
Immunohistochemistry for VEGF-A, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and VEGF3 was carried out on 387 mismatch repair-proficient colorectal cancers using a tissue microarray. Evaluation of immunoreactivity was performed semi-quantitatively and the ligand/receptor expression ratio was obtained.
An increased VEGF-A/VEGFR1 ratio, VEGF-A and VEGFR1 was linked to the presence of peritumoral lymphocytic inflammation at the invasive front (p = 0.032; p = 0.005; p = 0.032, respectively). VEGFR1 expression was related to poorer outcome in multivariable analysis with pT stage, pN stage, vascular invasion, and post-operative therapy. A higher ratio of VEGF-A/VEGFR2 was linked to advanced TNM stage (p = 0.005) while VEGF-A and VEGFR2 were elevated in tumours with an infiltrating tumour growth pattern (p = 0.006; p = 0.014; p = 0.006). No effect of VEGF-A/VEGFR2, VEGF-A or VEGFR2 on survival time was noted.
Our findings highlight an involvement of VEGF-A, VEGR1 and VEGFR2 in events occurring at the invasive tumour front and a potential prognostic role of VEGFR1 expression in mismatch repair-proficient colorectal cancers. The VEGF-A ligand to VEGFR1 or VEGFR2 ratio may represent an alternative evaluation system for identifying patients with poorer clinical outcome.
PMCID: PMC2841667  PMID: 20222950
9.  Immunohistochemical expression of EGP40, a tumor marker, in different grades of oral squamous cell carcinoma 
The aim of this study was to see the distribution and pattern of staining of epithelial glycoprotein 40 EGP-40 (also known as GA733-2, ESA, KSA, 17-1A antigen) in the different grades of OSCC.
Materials and Methods:
30 biopsy reports retrieved from the files of the Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, College of Dental Surgery, Manipal were used. These comprised of 10 microslides each of 3 different histological grades of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma, namely Well Differentiated, Moderately Differentiated and Poorly Differentiated carcinomas. Immunoperoxidase staining for IgG, was performed by the unlabelled antibody peroxidase-antiperoxidase complex (PAP) method. The criteria used to define an antigen positive area were: Homogenous /Patchy staining of the section and Cytoplasmic/ Membranous staining of the tumor cells.
The expression of EGP 40 in different grades of OSCC showed an inverse relationship to differentiation and a direct relationship with the proliferation of the tumor cells and its expression became more pronounced as the grade worsened i.e. from well to poorly differentiated OSCC.
In the present study, the surface antigen EGP40 (Ep-CAM) was detected in the different grades of OSCC with its expression becoming more pronounced as the grade worsened i.e. from well to poorly differentiated OSCC. However, further studies are required to understand the dualistic role of EGP40 (Ep-CAM) in mediating cell to cell adhesion preventing cell scattering and its heterogeneous expression in promoting tumor invasion and metastasis and also to determine its exact role and significance at a practically applicable level.
PMCID: PMC3125653  PMID: 21731275
EGP40; ESA; GA733-2; KSA; OSCC; 17-1A
10.  Dual Peroxisome Proliferator–Activated Receptor α/δ Agonist GFT505 Improves Hepatic and Peripheral Insulin Sensitivity in Abdominally Obese Subjects 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(10):2923-2930.
The development of new insulin sensitizers is an unmet need for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. We investigated the effect of GFT505, a dual peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR)-α/δ agonist, on peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity.
Twenty-two abdominally obese insulin-resistant males (homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance >3) were randomly assigned in a randomized crossover study to subsequent 8-week treatment periods with GFT505 (80 mg/day) or placebo, followed by a two-step hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic insulin clamp with a glucose tracer to calculate endogenous glucose production (EGP). The primary end point was the improvement in glucose infusion rate (GIR). Gene expression analysis was performed on skeletal muscle biopsy specimens.
GFT505 improved peripheral insulin sensitivity, with a 21% (P = 0.048) increase of the GIR at the second insulin infusion period. GFT505 also enhanced hepatic insulin sensitivity, with a 44% (P = 0.006) increase of insulin suppression of EGP at the first insulin infusion period. Insulin-suppressed plasma free fatty acid concentrations were significantly reduced on GFT505 treatment (0.21 ± 0.07 vs. 0.27 ± 0.11 mmol/L; P = 0.006). Neither PPARα nor PPARδ target genes were induced in skeletal muscle, suggesting a liver-targeted action of GFT505. GFT505 significantly reduced fasting plasma triglycerides (−21%; P = 0.003) and LDL cholesterol (−13%; P = 0.0006), as well as liver enzyme concentrations (γ-glutamyltranspeptidase: −30.4%, P = 0.003; alanine aminotransferase: −20.5%, P = 0.004). There was no safety concern or any indication of PPARγ activation with GFT505.
The dual PPARα/δ agonist GFT505 is a liver-targeted insulin-sensitizer that is a promising drug candidate for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
PMCID: PMC3781493  PMID: 23715754
11.  Expression and Role of GPR87 in Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder 
The orphan GPR87 has recently been matched with its ligand LPA, which is a lipid mediator with multiple physiological functions, including cancer cell proliferation. This study aimed to clarify the role of GPR87 in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder. GPR87 expression was assessed in seven human bladder cancer cell lines. A replication-deficient recombinant adenoviral vector expressing shRNA targeting GPR87 (Ad-shGPR87), was constructed. Gene silencing was carried out using Ad-shGPR87. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed for transurethral resection of bladder tumor samples from 71 patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. We observed GPR87 expression in five of the seven cell lines, and silencing GPR87 gene expression significantly reduced cell viability. GPR87 expression was positive in 38 (54%) of 71 tumors. Ki-67 index was associated with positive GPR87 staining status (p < 0.0001). Patients with GPR87-positive tumors had shorter intravesical recurrence-free survival than those with GPR87-negative tumors (p = 0.010). Multivariate analysis revealed that GPR87 staining status was an independent prognostic parameter for intravesical recurrence (p = 0.041). Progression from non-muscle-invasive to muscle-invasive tumor was more frequently observed in patients with GPR87-positive tumors, although this trend did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.056). These results warrant further prospective studies to clarify the role of GPR87 expression in intravesical recurrence and progression in bladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC3709790  PMID: 23752273
GPR87; non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer; intravesical recurrence; progression
12.  The association between the recurrence of solitary non-muscle invasive bladder cancer and tumor infiltrating lymphocytes 
Croatian Medical Journal  2012;53(6):598-604.
To evaluate whether tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in biopsy specimens are associated with the clinical outcome of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
We retrieved tumor specimens from 115 patients with solitary papillary non-muscle invasive bladder cancer treated between 1996 and 2006 and constructed tissue microarrays. Patients were divided in two groups: those with recurrent disease (N = 69) and those without recurrent disease (N = 46) during the follow up of minimum 5 years. All patients were treated with initial transurethral resection and none received adjuvant therapy. Immunhistochemical staining was performed with anti-CD3, CD4, CD8, and Granzyme B (GrB). The CD4+:CD8+ and GrB+:CD8 ratios were determined.
Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were predominantly observed within cancer stroma, and only rare individual cells were observed intraepithelially. The group without recurrent disease had lower levels of CD3+ and CD8+ lymphocytes than the group with recurrent disease (P = 0.0001, P = 0.0002, respectively). The CD4+:GrB+ and GrB+:CD8+ ratios were significantly higher in patients without recurrent disease (P = 0.0002, P = 0.039, respectively).
This study revealed a possible connection between TIL number and bladder cancer recurrence. TIL subset ratio showed different patterns in recurrent and non-recurrent tumors, which is why it could become a useful a prognostic clinical index if our findings are confirmed in randomized trials.
PMCID: PMC3541585  PMID: 23275325
13.  Genetic Susceptibility to Distinct Bladder Cancer Subphenotypes 
European urology  2009;57(2):283-292.
Clinical, pathologic, and molecular evidence indicate that bladder cancer is heterogeneous with pathologic/molecular features that define distinct subphenotypes with different prognoses. It is conceivable that specific patterns of genetic susceptibility are associated with particular subphenotypes.
To examine evidence for the contribution of germline genetic variation to bladder cancer heterogeneity.
Design, setting, and participants
The Spanish Bladder Cancer/EPICURO Study is a case-control study based in 18 hospitals located in five areas in Spain. Cases were patients with a newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed, urothelial cell carcinoma of the bladder from 1998 to 2001. Case diagnoses were reviewed and uniformly classified by pathologists following the World Health Organisation/International Society of Urological Pathology 1999 criteria. Controls were hospital-matched patients (n = 1149).
A total of 1526 candidate variants in 423 candidate genes were analysed. Three distinct subphenotypes were defined according to stage and grade: low-grade nonmuscle invasive (n = 586), high-grade nonmuscle invasive (n = 219), and muscle invasive (n = 246). The association between each variant and subphenotype was assessed by polytomous risk models adjusting for potential confounders. Heterogeneity in genetic susceptibility among subphenotypes was also tested.
Results and limitations
Two established bladder cancer susceptibility genotypes, NAT2 slow-acetylation and GSTM1-null, exhibited similar associations among the subphenotypes, as did VEGF-rs25648, which was previously identified in our study. Other variants conferred risks for specific tumour subphenotypes such as PMS2-rs6463524 and CD4-rs3213427 (respective heterogeneity p values of 0.006 and 0.004), which were associated with muscle-invasive tumours (per-allele odds ratios [95% confidence interval] of 0.56 [0.41–0.77] and 0.71 [0.57–0.88], respectively) but not with non–muscle-invasive tumours. Heterogeneity p values were not robust in multiple testing according to their false-discovery rate.
These exploratory analyses suggest that genetic susceptibility loci might be related to the molecular/pathologic diversity of bladder cancer. Validation through large-scale replication studies and the study of additional genes and single nucleotide polymorphisms are required.
PMCID: PMC3220186  PMID: 19692168
Urinary bladder cancer; Genetic polymorphism; Heterogeneity; Tumour subphenotypes; Pathologic characteristics
14.  Low circulating serum levels of second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase (Smac/DIABLO) in patients with bladder cancer 
International Journal of Oncology  2012;40(4):1246-1250.
Smac/DIABLO promotes apoptosis by antagonizing inhibitor of apoptosis proteins. The expression of Smac/DIABLO in tissues has been reported in various cancers; however, little is known about circulating levels of Smac/DIABLO. The present study was designed to first determine if Smac/DIABLO can be detected in the serum and then assess whether the circulating levels of Smac/DIABLO are of prognostic significance in patients with bladder cancer. The levels of Smac/DIABLO in the sera of 173 patients with bladder cancer and 36 normal donors were determined by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The mean serum level of Smac/DIABLO in patients with bladder cancer was approximately 2-fold lower than that in normal donors. The mean level of serum Smac/DIABLO in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer was lower than that in patients with non-muscle invasive cancer. In addition, the mean serum Smac/DIABLO level in patients with T4 muscle-invasive bladder cancer was lower than that in patients with T2 and T3 cancers. The mean serum level of Smac/DIABLO in patients with Grade 3 bladder cancer was lower than that in patients with Grade 1 and Grade 2 cancers. Analysis by Kaplan-Meier revealed that patients with Ta and T1 non-muscle invasive bladder cancer with high level of serum Smac/DIABLO (more than mean value) had a longer postoperative tumor-free interval than those with low level (less than mean value) in the 3-year follow-up. Furthermore, patients with T2–T4 muscle-invasive bladder cancer with high serum Smac/DIABLO level (more than mean value) had a higher postoperative disease-free rate when compared with patients with low level (less than mean value) in the 5-year follow-up. The present study is the first to analyze circulating levels of Smac/DIABLO in the serum. The findings demonstrate that the mean serum level of Smac/DIABLO was downregulated in patients with bladder cancer compared to control healthy individuals, especially high grade muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Noteworthy, lower serum level of Smac/DIABLO predicted early recurrence in patients with bladder cancer. Overall, the findings suggest that measuring the levels of Smac/DIABLO in the serum may be considered a prognostic parameter in patients with bladder cancer. Furthermore, Smac/DIABLO may be a molecular therapeutic target in bladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC3584575  PMID: 22218530
Smac/DIABLO; bladder cancer; prognosis
15.  The Impact of the Receptor of Hyaluronan-Mediated Motility (RHAMM) on Human Urothelial Transitional Cell Cancer of the Bladder 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e75681.
Hyaluronan (HA) is a carbohydrate of the extracellular matrix with tumor promoting effects in a variety of cancers. The present study addressed the role of HA matrix for progression and prognosis of human bladder cancer by studying the expression and function of HA-related genes.
Tissue samples of 120 patients with different stages of transitional cell bladder cancer, who underwent surgical treatment for bladder cancer at the University Hospital of Essen were analysed. mRNA-expression levels of HA synthases (HAS1-3) and HA-receptors (RHAMM and CD44) were evaluated by real time RT-PCR in comparison to healthy bladder tissue as control. In uni- and multivariate cox proportional hazard survival regression analysis, the impact of the gene expression levels on survival was assessed. In vitro knock-down of RHAMM, CD44 and HAS isoenzymes was achieved by siRNA and lentiviral shRNA in J82 bladder cancer cells. Transfected cells were analysed in vitro with regard to proliferation, cell cycle and apoptosis. J82 cells after knock-down of RHAMM were xenografted into male nu/nu athymic mice to monitor tumor progression in vivo.
In invasive tumor stages RHAMM-, HAS1 and HAS2 mRNA-expression levels were elevated whereas HAS3v1 was reduced as compared to non-invasive tumors. Subsequently, Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed reduced bladder cancer specific survival in patients with high RHAMM mRNA and low HAS3v1 expression. Elevated RHAMM in invasive tumors was confirmed by RHAMM immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, multivariate analysis revealed that only RHAMM expression was associated with poor prognosis independent from other survival factors (HR=2.389, 95% CI 1.227-4.651, p=0.01). Lentiviral RHAMM knock-down revealed reduced J82 cell proliferation in vitro and reduced xenograft tumor growth in vivo.
The data suggest that RHAMM plays a crucial role in mediating progression of muscle-invasive bladder cancer and recommends RHAMM for further evaluation as a prognostic marker or therapeutic target in bladder cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC3775893  PMID: 24069434
16.  The Management of Non-Invasive Bladder Tumours with Doxorubicin Intravesical Instillation after Transurethral Resection 
Evaluation of the intravesical instillation of doxorubicin for its effect on disease recurrence for patients with non-invasive bladder tumour.
The study was performed at Al Assad University Hospital in Lattakia, Syria and included patients with non-invasive bladder tumours who were managed with transurethral resection and induction and maintenance therapy with intravesical doxorubicin. They were followed up by cystoscopy every 3 months for 2 years and every 6 months thereafter with special emphasis on recurrence rates.
The study included 85 patients with non-invasive bladder tumours: 23 with non-invasive papillary carcinoma (Stage Ta), 62 with tumour invading subepithelial connective tissue (Stage T1). Twelve patients had well differentiated tumours (Grade 1), 48 had moderately differentiated (Grade 2), 25 had poorly differentiated (Grade 3) tumours. The total recurrence rate was 23%. The rates of recurrence were 56% in Grade 3 and 0% in Grade 1. The recurrence rate was 41% in patients with large tumours versus 17% in those with small tumours; 44% in those with multiple tumours compared to 18% in those with solitary tumours; 30% of Stage Ta tumours recurred and 21% of Stage T1 tumours.
In short term follow-up, our rate of recurrence was 23%. Adjuvant intravesical doxorubicin was shown to reduce the recurrence of superficial bladder cancer. Tumour grade, size and number were shown to be prognostic factors for recurrence.
PMCID: PMC3074761  PMID: 21509275
Intravesical Instillations; Doxorubicin; Non-Invasive bladder cancer
17.  HYAL-1 Hyaluronidase: A Potential Prognostic Indicator for Progression to Muscle Invasion and Recurrence in Bladder Cancer 
European urology  2009;57(1):86-94.
For bladder cancer (BCa) patients undergoing bladder-sparing treatments, molecular markers may aid in accurately predicting progression to muscle invasion and recurrence. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a glycosaminoglycan that promotes tumor metastasis. Hyaluronoglucosaminidase 1 (HYAL-1)–type hyaluronidase (HAase) promotes tumor growth, invasion, and angiogenesis. Urinary HA and HAase levels are diagnostic markers for BCa.
We evaluated whether HA and HYAL-1 can predict progression to muscle invasion and recurrence among patients with non–muscle-invasive BCa.
Design, setting, and participants
Based on tissue availability, tissue microarrays were prepared from a cohort of 178 BCa specimens (144 non–muscle invasive, 34 muscle invasive). Follow-up information was available on 111 patients with non–muscle-invasive BCa (mean follow-up: 69.5 mo); 58 patients recurred and 25 progressed to muscle invasion (mean time to progress: 22.3 mo).
HA and HYAL-1 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and graded for intensity and area of staining. Association of HA and HYAL-1 staining with BCa recurrence and muscle invasion was evaluated by univariate and multivariate models.
Results and limitations
HA and HYAL-1 expression correlated with tumor grade, stage, and multifocality (p < 0.05). In non–muscle-invasive BCa specimens, HYAL-1 staining was higher (234.3 ± 52.2; 200.6 ± 61.4) if patients experienced progression to muscle invasion or recurrence when compared with no progression or recurrence (164.1 ± 48.2; 172.1 ± 57; p < 0.001). HA staining correlated with muscle invasion (p < 0.001). In univariate analysis, age (p = 0.014), multifocality (p = 0.023), and HYAL-1 staining (p < 0.001) correlated with muscle invasion, whereas only HYAL-1 correlated with recurrence (p = 0.013). In multivariate analysis, significantly associated with muscle invasion (p < 0.001; 76.8% accuracy) and recurrence (p = 0.01; 67.8% accuracy).
HYAL-1 is a potential prognostic marker for predicting progression to muscle invasion and recurrence.
PMCID: PMC2828527  PMID: 19345473
Bladder cancer; Hyaluronic acid; Hyaluronidase; HYAL-1; non-muscle invasive bladder cancer; Prognostic markers; Tissue microarray
18.  Expression of RFC/SLC19A1 is Associated with Tumor Type in Bladder Cancer Patients 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e21820.
Urinary bladder cancer (UBC) ranks ninth in worldwide cancer. In Egypt, the pattern of bladder cancer is unique in that both the transitional and squamous cell types prevail. Despite much research on the topic, it is still difficult to predict tumor progression, optimal therapy and clinical outcome. The reduced folate carrier (RFC/SLC19A1) is the major transport system for folates in mammalian cells and tissues. RFC is also the primary means of cellular uptake for antifolate cancer chemotherapeutic drugs, however, membrane transport of antifolates by RFC is considered as limiting to antitumor activity. The purpose of this study was to compare the mRNA expression level of RFC/SLC19A1 in urothelial and non-urothelial variants of bladder carcinomas. Quantification of RFC mRNA in the mucosa of 41 untreated bladder cancer patients was performed using RT-qPCR. RFC mRNA steady-state levels were ∼9-fold higher (N = 39; P<0.0001) in bladder tumor specimens relative to normal bladder mRNA. RFC upregulation was strongly correlated with tumor type (urothelial vs. non-urothelial; p<0.05) where median RFC mRNA expression was significantly (p<0.05) higher in the urothelial (∼14-fold) compared to the non-urothelial (∼4-fold) variant. This may account for the variation in response to antifolate-containing regimens used in the treatment of either type. RFC mRNA levels were not associated with tumor grade (I, II and III) or stage (muscle-invasive vs. non-muscle invasive) implying that RFC cannot be used for prognostic purposes in bladder carcinomas and its increased expression is an early event in human bladder tumors pathogenesis. Further, RFC can be considered as a potential marker for predicting response to antifolate chemotherapy in urothelial carcinomas.
PMCID: PMC3132752  PMID: 21760912
19.  Predicting response to bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in patients with carcinoma in situ of the bladder 
Urologic oncology  2013;32(1):45.e23-45.e30.
Currently, there is no reliable tool to predict response to intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). Based on the fact that BCG is a Th1-polarizing immunotherapy, we attempt to correlate the pretreatment immunologic tumor microenvironment (Th1 or Th2) with response to therapy.
Materials and methods
Bladder cancer patients with initial diagnosis of carcinoma in situ (Tis) were stratified based on their response to BCG treatment. A total of 38 patients met inclusion criteria (20 patients who responded and 18 patients who did not respond). Immunohistochemical (IHC) methods known to assess the type of immunologic microenvironment (Th1 vs. Th2) were performed on tumor tissue obtained at initial biopsy/resection: the level of tumor eosinophil infiltration and degranulation (Th2 response); the number of tumor-infiltrating GATA-3+ (Th2-polarized) lymphocytes; and the number of tumor-infiltrating T-bet+ (Th1-polarized) lymphocytes. Results obtained from these metrics were correlated with response to treatment with BCG immunotherapy.
The IHC metrics of the tumor immune microenvironment prior to BCG treatment were each statistically significant predictors of responders (R) vs. nonresponders (NR). Eosinophil infiltration and degranulation was higher for R vs. NR: 1.02±0.17 vs. 0.5±0.12 (P = 0.01) and 1.1±0.15 vs. 0.56±0.15 (P = 0.04), respectively. Ratio of GATA-3+ (Th2-polarized) lymphocytes to T-bet+ (Th1-polarized) lymphocytes was higher for R vs. NR: 4.85±0.94 vs. 0.98±0.19 (P<0.001). The 3 markers were combined to create a Th2 signature biomarker, which was a statistically significant (P<0.0001) predictor of R vs. NR. All IHC markers demonstrated that a preexisting Th1 immunologic environment within the tumor was predictive of BCG failure.
The Th1 vs. Th2 polarization of bladder tumor immune microenvironment prior to treatment with BCG represents a prognostic metric of response to therapy. If a patient has a preexisting Th1 immunologic response within the tumor, there is no value in using a therapy intended to create a Th1 immunologic response. An algorithm integrating 3 IHC methods provided a sensitive and specific technique that may become a useful tool for pathologists and urologists to predict response to BCG in patients with carcinoma in situ of the bladder.
PMCID: PMC3953142  PMID: 24055426
Eosinophils; Tumor immune microenvironment; GATA-3; T-bet; Degranulation; Bladder cancer
20.  Correlative studies on uPA mRNA and uPAR mRNA expression with vascular endothelial growth factor, microvessel density, progression and survival time of patients with gastric cancer 
AIM: To investigate the correlations between the expression of urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) mRNA, uPA receptor (uPAR) mRNA and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein and clinicopathologic features, microvessel density (MVD) and survival time.
METHODS: In situ hybridization and immuno-histochemistry techniques were used to study the expressions of uPA mRNA, uPAR mRNA, VEGF and CD34 protein in 105 gastric carcinoma specimens.
RESULTS: Expressions of uPA mRNA, uPAR mRNA and VEGF protein were observed in 61 (58.1%) cases, 70 (66.7%) cases and 67 (63.8%) cases, respectively. The uPA mRNA and uPAR mRNA positive expression rates in infiltrating-type cases (73.7%, 75.4%), stage III-IV (72.1%, 75.4%), vessel invasion (63.2%, 69.9%), lymphatic metastasis (67.1%, 74.4%) and distant metastasis (88.1%, 85.7%) were significantly higher than those of the expanding-type (χ2 = 15.57, P = 0.001; χ2 = 6.91, P = 0.046), stage I-II (χ2 = 19.22, P = 0.001; χ2 = 16.75, P = 0.001), non-vessel invasion (χ2 = 11.92, P = 0.006; χ2 = 14.15, P = 0.002), non-lymphatic metastasis (χ2 = 28.41, P = 0.001; χ2 = 22.5, P = 0.005) and non-distant metastasis (χ2 = 12.32, P = 0.004; χ2 = 17.42, P = 0.002; χ2 = 11.25, P = 0.012; χ2 = 18.12, P = 0.002).The VEGF positive expression rates in infiltrating-type cases (75.4%), stage III-IV (88.5%), vessel invasion (82.9%), lymphatic metastasis (84.3%) and distant metastasis (95.2%) were significantly higher than those of the expanding-type (χ2 = 9.61, P = 0.021), stage I-II (χ2 = 16.66, P = 0.001), non-vessel invasion (χ2 = 29.38, P = 0.001), non-lymphatic metastasis (χ2 = 18.68, P = 0.005), and non-distant metastasis (χ2 = 22.72, P = 0.007; χ2 = 21.62, P = 0.004). The mean MVD in the specimens positive for the uPA mRNA, uPAR mRNA and VEGF protein was markedly higher than those with negative expression groups. Moreover, a positive relation between MVD and uPA mRNA (rs = 0.199, P = 0.042), uPAR mRNA (rs = 0.278, P = 0.035), and VEGF (rs = 0.398, P = 0.048) expressions was observed. The mean survival time in cases with positive uPA mRNA, uPAR mRNA and VEGF protein expression or MVD value ≥ 54.9 was significantly shorter than those in cases with negative expression or MVD value < 54.9.
CONCLUSION: uPA and uPAR expressions are correlated with enhanced VEGF-induced tumor angiogenesis and may play a role in invasion and nodal metastasis of gastric carcinoma, thereby serving as prognostic markers of gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC4087704  PMID: 16810742
Stomach neoplasm; Urokinase-type plasminogen activator; Urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor; Vascular endothelial growth factor; Prognosis
21.  Optimal Management of High-Risk T1G3 Bladder Cancer: A Decision Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(9):e284.
Controversy exists about the most appropriate treatment for high-risk superficial (stage T1; grade G3) bladder cancer. Immediate cystectomy offers the best chance for survival but may be associated with an impaired quality of life compared with conservative therapy. We estimated life expectancy (LE) and quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE) for both of these treatments for men and women of different ages and comorbidity levels.
Methods and Findings
We evaluated two treatment strategies for high-risk, T1G3 bladder cancer using a decision-analytic Markov model: (1) Immediate cystectomy with neobladder creation versus (2) conservative management with intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and delayed cystectomy in individuals with resistant or progressive disease. Probabilities and utilities were derived from published literature where available, and otherwise from expert opinion. Extensive sensitivity analyses were conducted to identify variables most likely to influence the decision. Structural sensitivity analyses modifying the base case definition and the triggers for cystectomy in the conservative therapy arm were also explored. Probabilistic sensitivity analysis was used to assess the joint uncertainty of all variables simultaneously and the uncertainty in the base case results. External validation of model outputs was performed by comparing model-predicted survival rates with independent published literature. The mean LE of a 60-y-old male was 14.3 y for immediate cystectomy and 13.6 y with conservative management. With the addition of utilities, the immediate cystectomy strategy yielded a mean QALE of 12.32 y and remained preferred over conservative therapy by 0.35 y. Worsening patient comorbidity diminished the benefit of early cystectomy but altered the LE-based preferred treatment only for patients over age 70 y and the QALE-based preferred treatment for patients over age 65 y. Sensitivity analyses revealed that patients over the age of 70 y or those strongly averse to loss of sexual function, gastrointestinal dysfunction, or life without a bladder have a higher QALE with conservative therapy. The results of structural or probabilistic sensitivity analyses did not change the preferred treatment option. Model-predicted overall and disease-specific survival rates were similar to those reported in published studies, suggesting external validity.
Our model is, to our knowledge, the first of its kind in bladder cancer, and demonstrated that younger patients with high-risk T1G3 bladder had a higher LE and QALE with immediate cystectomy. The decision to pursue immediate cystectomy versus conservative therapy should be based on discussions that consider patient age, comorbid status, and an individual's preference for particular postcystectomy health states. Patients over the age of 70 y or those who place high value on sexual function, gastrointestinal function, or bladder preservation may benefit from a more conservative initial therapeutic approach.
Using a Markov model, Shabbir Alibhai and colleagues develop a decision analysis comparing cystectomy with conservative treatment for high-risk superficial bladder cancer depending on patient age, comorbid conditions, and preferences.
Editors' Summary
Every year, about 67,000 people in the US develop bladder cancer. Like all cancers, bladder cancer arises when a single cell begins to grow faster than normal, loses its characteristic shape, and moves into surrounding tissues. Most bladder cancers develop from cells that line the bladder (“transitional” cells) and most are detected before they spread out of this lining. These superficial or T1 stage cancers can be removed by transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT). The urologist (a specialist who treats urinary tract problems) passes a small telescope into the bladder through the urethra (the tube through which urine leaves the body) and removes the tumor. If the tumor cells look normal under a microscope (so-called normal histology), the cancer is unlikely to return; if they have lost their normal appearance, the tumor is given a “G3” histological grade, which indicates a high risk of recurrence.
Why Was This Study Done?
The best treatment for T1G3 bladder cancer remains controversial. Some urologists recommend immediate radical cystectomy— surgical removal of the bladder, the urethra, and other nearby organs. This treatment often provides a complete cure but can cause serious short-term health problems and affects long-term quality of life. Patients often develop sexual dysfunction or intestinal (gut) problems and sometimes find it hard to live with a reconstructed bladder. The other recommended treatment is immunotherapy with bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG, bacteria that are also used to vaccinate against tuberculosis). Long-term survival is not always as good with this conservative treatment but it is less likely than surgery to cause short-term illness or to reduce quality of life. In this study, the researchers have used decision analysis (a systematic evaluation of the important factors affecting a decision) to determine whether immediate cystectomy or conservative therapy is the optimal treatment for patients with T1G3 bladder cancer. Decision analysis allowed the researchers to account for quality-of-life factors while comparing the health benefits of each treatment for T1G3 bladder cancer.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Using a decision analysis model called a Markov model, the researchers calculated the months of life gained, and the quality of life expected to result, from each of the two treatments. To estimate the life expectancy (LE) associated with each treatment, the researchers incorporated the published probabilities of various outcomes of each treatment into their model. To estimate quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE, the number of years of good quality life), they incorporated “utilities,” measures of relative satisfaction with outcomes. (A utility of 1 represents perfect health; death is assigned a value of 0, and outcomes considered less than ideal, but better than death, fall in between). For a sexually potent 60-year-old man with bladder cancer but no other illnesses, the average LE predicted by the model was nearly eight months longer with immediate cystectomy than with conservative treatment (both LEs predicted by this model matched those seen in clinical trials); the average QALE with cystectomy was 4.2 months longer than with conservative treatment. Having additional diseases decreased the benefit of immediate cystectomy but the treatment still gave a longer LE until the patient reached 70 years old, when conservative treatment became better. For QALE, this change in optimal treatment appeared at age 65. Finally, conservative treatment gave a higher QALE than immediate cystectomy for patients concerned about preserving sexual function or averse to living with intestinal problems or a reconstructed bladder.
What Do These Findings Mean?
As with all mathematical models, these results depend on the assumptions included in the model. In particular, because published probability and utility values are not available for some of the possible outcomes of the two treatments, the LE and QALE calculations could be inaccurate. Also, assigning numerical ratings to life experiences is generally something of a simplification, which could affect the reliability of the QALE (but not the LE) results. Nevertheless, these findings provide useful guidance for urologists trying to balance the benefits of immediate cystectomy or conservative treatment against the potential short-term and long-term effects of these treatments on patients' quality of life. Specifically, the results indicate that decisions on treatment for T1G3 bladder cancer should be based on a consideration of the patient's age and any coexisting disease coupled with detailed discussions with the patient about their attitudes regarding the possible health-related effects of cystectomy.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
MedlinePlus encyclopedia page on bladder cancer (in English and Spanish)
Information for patients and professionals from the US National Cancer Institute on bladder cancer (in English and Spanish)
Information for patients on bladder cancer from the UK charity Cancerbackup
Online course on Decision Analysis in Health Care from George Mason University
PMCID: PMC1989749  PMID: 17896857
22.  The effect of restaging transurethral resection on recurrence and progression rates in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer treated with intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guérin 
The Journal of urology  2013;191(2):341-345.
We sought to determine if restaging resection prior to initiation of induction intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guérin improves recurrence-free rates in patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
Material and Methods
We retrospectively analyzed data on 1,021 patients treated at our institution with intravesical BCG for non-muscle invasive high-risk bladder cancer. All patients underwent a second resection, except for those already undergoing BCG treatment at the time of initial consultation and those refusing a restaging resection. All patients were assessed every 3 to 12 months for a minimum of 5 years. Univariate and multivariate regression was used to identify predictors of five-year recurrence.
Restaging transurethral resection was performed on 894 (87.5%) patients. At restaging resection, 496 (55.5%) were found to have viable tumor. At 3 months, patients with a single resection had a recurrence rate of 44.3% compared to 9.6% for patients with a restaging resection (p<0.01). On multivariate analysis, a single TUR ([OR] 2.1, 95% CI 1.3, 3.3; p=0.01) was the only predictor of recurrence at 5 years. Time to recurrence for patients with a single resection was significantly shorter compared to those who underwent restaging resection (median 22 months versus 36 months, p <0.001).
Failure to perform a repeat resection prior to initiation of intravesical BCG therapy for high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer significantly increases the risk of recurrence. We believe restaging resection should therefore be performed prior to initiating BCG therapy for all patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
PMCID: PMC4157345  PMID: 23973518
Urinary bladder neoplasms; transurethral resection; Bacillus Calmette-Guérin; recurrence
23.  Intravesical delivery of Rapamycin suppresses tumorigenesis in a mouse model of progressive bladder cancer 
Early stage bladder cancer occurs as two distinct forms; namely, low-grade superficial disease and high-grade carcinoma in situ (CIS), which is the major precursor of muscle invasive bladder cancer. While the low-grade form is readily treatable, few, if any, effective treatments are currently available for preventing progression of non-muscle invasive CIS to invasive bladder cancer. Based on our previous findings that the mTOR signaling pathway is activated in muscle invasive bladder cancer, but not superficial disease (1), we reasoned that suppression of this pathway might block cancer progression. To test this idea, we performed in vivo preclinical studies using a genetically engineered mouse model that we now show recapitulates progression from non-muscle invasive CIS to muscle invasive bladder tumors. We find that delivery of Rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor, subsequent to the occurrence of CIS effectively prevents progression to invasive bladder cancer. Furthermore, we show that intravesical delivery of Rapamycin directly into the bladder lumen is highly effective for suppressing bladder tumorigenesis. Thus, our findings demonstrate the potential therapeutic benefit of inhibiting mTOR signaling for treatment of patients at high risk of developing invasive bladder cancer. More broadly, our findings support a more wide-spread use of intravesical delivery of therapeutic agents for treatment of high-risk bladder cancer patients, and provide a mouse model for effective preclinical testing of potential novel agents.
PMCID: PMC2789170  PMID: 19952358
bladder cancer; high-risk patients; Rapamycin; intravesical therapy; mouse model
24.  CD8+ lymphocyte infiltration is an independent favorable prognostic indicator in basal-like breast cancer 
Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes may indicate an immune response to cancer development, but their significance remains controversial in breast cancer. We conducted this study to assess CD8+ (cytotoxic T) lymphocyte infiltration in a large cohort of invasive early stage breast cancers, and to evaluate its prognostic effect in different breast cancer intrinsic subtypes.
Immunohistochemistry for CD8 staining was performed on tissue microarrays from 3992 breast cancer patients. CD8+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were counted as intratumoral when in direct contact with tumor cells, and as stromal in adjacent locations. Kaplan-Meier functions and Cox proportional hazards regression models were applied to examine the associations between tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and breast cancer specific survival.
Among 3403 cases for which immunohistochemical results were obtained, CD8+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were identified in an intratumoral pattern in 32% and stromal pattern in 61% of the cases. In the whole cohort, the presence of intratumoral tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes was significantly correlated with young age, high grade, estrogen receptor negativity, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 positivity and core basal intrinsic subtype, and was associated with superior breast cancer specific survival. Multivariate analysis indicated that the favorable prognostic effect of CD8+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes was significant only in the core basal intrinsic subgroup (Hazard ratio, HR = 0.35, 95% CI = 0.23-0.54). No association with improved survival was present in those triple negative breast cancers that lack expression of basal markers (HR = 0.99, 95% CI = 0.48-2.04) nor in the other intrinsic subtypes.
CD8+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes are an independent prognostic factor associated with better patient survival in basal-like breast cancer, but not in non-basal triple negative breast cancers nor in other intrinsic molecular subtypes.
PMCID: PMC3446382  PMID: 22420471
25.  Nuclear Receptor Expression Defines a Set of Prognostic Biomarkers for Lung Cancer 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(12):e1000378.
David Mangelsdorf and colleagues show that nuclear receptor expression is strongly associated with clinical outcomes of lung cancer patients, and this expression profile is a potential prognostic signature for lung cancer patient survival time, particularly for individuals with early stage disease.
The identification of prognostic tumor biomarkers that also would have potential as therapeutic targets, particularly in patients with early stage disease, has been a long sought-after goal in the management and treatment of lung cancer. The nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily, which is composed of 48 transcription factors that govern complex physiologic and pathophysiologic processes, could represent a unique subset of these biomarkers. In fact, many members of this family are the targets of already identified selective receptor modulators, providing a direct link between individual tumor NR quantitation and selection of therapy. The goal of this study, which begins this overall strategy, was to investigate the association between mRNA expression of the NR superfamily and the clinical outcome for patients with lung cancer, and to test whether a tumor NR gene signature provided useful information (over available clinical data) for patients with lung cancer.
Methods and Findings
Using quantitative real-time PCR to study NR expression in 30 microdissected non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) and their pair-matched normal lung epithelium, we found great variability in NR expression among patients' tumor and non-involved lung epithelium, found a strong association between NR expression and clinical outcome, and identified an NR gene signature from both normal and tumor tissues that predicted patient survival time and disease recurrence. The NR signature derived from the initial 30 NSCLC samples was validated in two independent microarray datasets derived from 442 and 117 resected lung adenocarcinomas. The NR gene signature was also validated in 130 squamous cell carcinomas. The prognostic signature in tumors could be distilled to expression of two NRs, short heterodimer partner and progesterone receptor, as single gene predictors of NSCLC patient survival time, including for patients with stage I disease. Of equal interest, the studies of microdissected histologically normal epithelium and matched tumors identified expression in normal (but not tumor) epithelium of NGFIB3 and mineralocorticoid receptor as single gene predictors of good prognosis.
NR expression is strongly associated with clinical outcomes for patients with lung cancer, and this expression profile provides a unique prognostic signature for lung cancer patient survival time, particularly for those with early stage disease. This study highlights the potential use of NRs as a rational set of therapeutically tractable genes as theragnostic biomarkers, and specifically identifies short heterodimer partner and progesterone receptor in tumors, and NGFIB3 and MR in non-neoplastic lung epithelium, for future detailed translational study in lung cancer.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Lung cancer, the most common cause of cancer-related death, kills 1.3 million people annually. Most lung cancers are “non-small-cell lung cancers” (NSCLCs), and most are caused by smoking. Exposure to chemicals in smoke causes changes in the genes of the cells lining the lungs that allow the cells to grow uncontrollably and to move around the body. How NSCLC is treated and responds to treatment depends on its “stage.” Stage I tumors, which are small and confined to the lung, are removed surgically, although chemotherapy is also sometimes given. Stage II tumors have spread to nearby lymph nodes and are treated with surgery and chemotherapy, as are some stage III tumors. However, because cancer cells in stage III tumors can be present throughout the chest, surgery is not always possible. For such cases, and for stage IV NSCLC, where the tumor has spread around the body, patients are treated with chemotherapy alone. About 70% of patients with stage I and II NSCLC but only 2% of patients with stage IV NSCLC survive for five years after diagnosis; more than 50% of patients have stage IV NSCLC at diagnosis.
Why Was This Study Done?
Patient responses to treatment vary considerably. Oncologists (doctors who treat cancer) would like to know which patients have a good prognosis (are likely to do well) to help them individualize their treatment. Consequently, the search is on for “prognostic tumor biomarkers,” molecules made by cancer cells that can be used to predict likely clinical outcomes. Such biomarkers, which may also be potential therapeutic targets, can be identified by analyzing the overall pattern of gene expression in a panel of tumors using a technique called microarray analysis and looking for associations between the expression of sets of genes and clinical outcomes. In this study, the researchers take a more directed approach to identifying prognostic biomarkers by investigating the association between the expression of the genes encoding nuclear receptors (NRs) and clinical outcome in patients with lung cancer. The NR superfamily contains 48 transcription factors (proteins that control the expression of other genes) that respond to several hormones and to diet-derived fats. NRs control many biological processes and are targets for several successful drugs, including some used to treat cancer.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers analyzed the expression of NR mRNAs using “quantitative real-time PCR” in 30 microdissected NSCLCs and in matched normal lung tissue samples (mRNA is the blueprint for protein production). They then used an approach called standard classification and regression tree analysis to build a prognostic model for NSCLC based on the expression data. This model predicted both survival time and disease recurrence among the patients from whom the tumors had been taken. The researchers validated their prognostic model in two large independent lung adenocarcinoma microarray datasets and in a squamous cell carcinoma dataset (adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas are two major NSCLC subtypes). Finally, they explored the roles of specific NRs in the prediction model. This analysis revealed that the ability of the NR signature in tumors to predict outcomes was mainly due to the expression of two NRs—the short heterodimer partner (SHP) and the progesterone receptor (PR). Expression of either gene could be used as a single gene predictor of the survival time of patients, including those with stage I disease. Similarly, the expression of either nerve growth factor induced gene B3 (NGFIB3) or mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) in normal tissue was a single gene predictor of a good prognosis.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that the expression of NR mRNA is strongly associated with clinical outcomes in patients with NSCLC. Furthermore, they identify a prognostic NR expression signature that provides information on the survival time of patients, including those with early stage disease. The signature needs to be confirmed in more patients before it can be used clinically, and researchers would like to establish whether changes in mRNA expression are reflected in changes in protein expression if NRs are to be targeted therapeutically. Nevertheless, these findings highlight the potential use of NRs as prognostic tumor biomarkers. Furthermore, they identify SHP and PR in tumors and two NRs in normal lung tissue as molecules that might provide new targets for the treatment of lung cancer and new insights into the early diagnosis, pathogenesis, and chemoprevention of lung cancer.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The Nuclear Receptor Signaling Atlas (NURSA) is consortium of scientists sponsored by the US National Institutes of Health that provides scientific reagents, datasets, and educational material on nuclear receptors and their co-regulators to the scientific community through a Web-based portal
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) provides information and resources to anyone interested in the prevention and treatment of lung and other cancers
The US National Cancer Institute provides detailed information for patients and professionals about all aspects of lung cancer, including information on non-small-cell carcinoma and on tumor markers (in English and Spanish)
Cancer Research UK also provides information about lung cancer and information on how cancer starts
MedlinePlus has links to other resources about lung cancer (in English and Spanish)
Wikipedia has a page on nuclear receptors (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
PMCID: PMC3001894  PMID: 21179495

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