Significance of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and Survivin Expression in Bladder Cancer Tissue and Urine Cytology of Patients with Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the Urinary Bladder

  • EO Kehinde
  • M Ma-Maghrebi
  • JT Anim
  • K Kapila
  • SS George
  • A Al-Juwaiser
  • A Memon


Objective: To assess whether epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and survivin immunostaining of tumour cells in urinary cytology and tissue of patients with bladder cancer has a prognostic significance.
Design: Prospective study
Setting: Department of Surgery (Division of Urology), Mubarak Al-Kabeer Teaching Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait
Subjects: Urine cytology smears obtained prior to cystoscopy in patients with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder were immunostained for EGFR and survivin. Bladder cancer tissue resected at surgery was also immunostained for EGFR and survivin expression. Tissue expression of EGFR and survivin in TCC of the bladder was compared to their expression in urine cytology and relationship to tumour grade and stage.
Results: 178 patients were studied (43 newly diagnosed bladder cancer, 58 with recurrent TCC and 77 in disease remission). Twenty five patients with normal urothelium served as controls. The mean sensitivity of urine  cytology, tissue survivin immunohistochemistry (IHC) and tissue EGFR IHC was 30.5%, 62% and 59% respectively. The corresponding mean specificity was 95%, 79% and 38% respectively. For grades 1, 2 and 3 bladder tumors, tissue expression positivity for EGFR was 47.8%, 92.9%, 100% and for tissue survivin it was 27.8%, 18.2% and 33.3% respectively. For grades 1, 2 and 3 bladder tumors, urine expression positivity for EGFR was 35.7%, 40% and 67.7% and for urine survivin it was 8.3%, 42.9% and 33.3% respectively.
Conclusion: Positive EGFR immunostaining of urine cytology specimen or tumour tissue increases with histological grade of TCC of the bladder. Survivin expression is less consistent in both urine cytology specimen and tissue samples. EGFR immunostaining may provide a useful tool in the grading of bladder TCC and aid in the selection of patients that may benefit from administration of EGFR inhibitors.

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