Association of p53 nuclear overexpression and tumor progression in carcinoma in situ of the bladder
Carcinoma in Situ
Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
Urinary Bladder Neoplasms
We investigated the prevalence and clinical relevance of p53 nuclear overexpression, as detected by antibody PAb1801 and immunohistochemistry, in 33 patients with carcinoma in situ of the bladder. Median followup was 124 months. Disease progressed in 16 patients (48%) during followup. The association between p53 nuclear overexpression and tumor progression was assessed by multivariate analysis, controlling for possible confounding variables, such as patient age and sex, presence of associated stage Ta bladder tumor and adjuvant bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy. Patients were stratified into 2 groups according to the per cent of tumor cells displaying p53 nuclear overexpression: group 1-18 with less than 20% tumor cells positive and group 2-15 with 20% or more tumor cells positive. Disease progressed in 3 patients (16.7%) in group 1 and in 13 (86.7%) in group 2 (p < 0.0001). Detection of p53 nuclear overexpression in 20% or more tumor cells was the only independent marker of tumor progression in univariate and multivariate analyses (p = 0.004, adjusted relative risk 8.6, 95% confidence interval 2 to 40). Death specifically from bladder cancer was also associated with this altered pattern of p53 expression (p = 0.01, Fisher's exact test). We conclude that p53 nuclear overexpression is an early event in bladder cancer, occurring in 48% of cases of carcinoma in situ of the bladder. Our results also suggest that p53 nuclear overexpression offers significant clinical information and may be a useful tool in the selection of therapy for patients with carcinoma in situ of the bladder.