p53 and microvessel density in primary resection specimens of superficial bladder cancer

Frank Reiher*, Ozden Ozer, Michael Pins, Borko D. Jovanovic, Scott Eggener, Steven C. Campbell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: p53 Regulates angiogenesis in fibrosarcoma and correlative studies suggest a similar role for muscle invasive bladder cancer. We evaluated the associations of p53 status and microvessel density with pathological features and clinical outcomes in a large population of patients with superficial bladder cancer. In addition, we assessed the correlation of p53 status with microvessel density, which would suggest the regulation of angiogenesis by p53. Materials and Methods: We stained 84 primary bladder resection specimens, including 55 stage pTa, 29 stage pT1, 27 grade 1, 35 grade 2 and 22 grade 3 samples, for p53, CD31 and CD34. The relationships of p53 or microvessel density and tumor stage-grade or clinical recurrence-progression were analyzed by analysis of variance and pairwise comparison analysis for least significant difference, and Pearson correlation coefficients. Only patients with no previous biopsy were included in analysis to preclude interference by granulation tissue related neovascularization. The 4 samples with significant inflammation were also excluded from study. Results: At a mean followup of 33 months (range 1 to 93) 34 of 84 patients (40.4%) experienced 1 or more tumor recurrences and 10 (11.9%) had stage and/or grade progression. Statistically significant associations were observed of p53 immunostaining and microvessel density with tumor stage and grade (p <0.05). However, the association of p53 status with microvessel density was weak and not statistically significant. Similar results were observed for the CD31 and CD34 based estimates of microvessel density. Neither p53 status nor microvessel density correlated with recurrence or progression. Conclusions: Our study confirms the strong association of p53 and microvessel density with the well established prognostic factors of grade and stage in superficial bladder cancer, supporting other evidence of an important role for p53 and angiogenesis in the tumor biology of this disease. However, our data argue against a primary role of p53 in the regulation of angiogenesis in superficial bladder cancer. This study, which to our knowledge is the first to focus on primary resection specimens, suggests that other genetic or environmental factors may contribute to the regulation of angiogenesis in superficial bladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1469-1474
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Bladder
  • Bladder neoplasms
  • Genes, p53
  • Neovascularization
  • Pathologic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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