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.