Expression of the alpha6beta4 integrin provides prognostic information in bladder cancer.
- H B Grossman
- C Lee
- J Bromberg
- M Liebert
Affiliations: Department of Urology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
- Published online on: January 1, 2000 https://doi.org/10.3892/or.7.1.13
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Integrins are cell surface receptors for extracellular matrix components that may participate in metastatic processes. Normal urothelial tissues show a polarized expression of alpha6beta4 integrin on basal cells at their junction with the lamina propria. We have previously shown that bladder cancers frequently overexpress one member of the integrin family, the alpha6beta4 integrin. In this study, we evaluated the level of alpha6beta4 integrin expression in bladder cancer specimens from 57 patients and correlated the expression level with patient survival. Expression was evaluated by immunoperoxidase staining. Three patterns of alpha6beta4 expression were observed: negative (13 patients); strong overexpression throughout the tumor cells (21 patients); and weak expression that most closely resembled expression in normal urothelium (23 patients). Individuals with weak staining tumors had a statistically significantly better survival (p=0.041) than patients whose tumors exhibited either no expression or strong overexpression. These data indicate that evaluation of the expression of alpha6beta4 integrin may provide valuable prognostic information on clinical outcome in patients with bladder cancer.