Introduction: EpCAM is an adhesion molecule of the basolateral membranes in a variety of epithelial cells. Over-expression has been detected in many epithelial tumors and has been associated with high stage, high grade and a worse survival in some tumor types. To assess the prognostic value of EpCAM in urothelial carcinoma (UC) of the bladder we performed an immunohistochemical study.
Methods: EpCAM expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry using a monoclonal antibody (clone VU-1D9) on a tissue microarray comprising 99 UCs of the bladder diagnosed between 1994 and 1997.
Results: A significant relationship between high grade, advanced stage, and EpCAM expression was found. Though expression of EpCAM was associated with a worse overall survival when compared to EpCAM negative tumors (p=0.033). Multivariate analysis showed that EpCAM expression was not an independent prognostic factor for overall survival in UC of the bladder.
Conclusion: EpCAM expression is associated with advanced stage, high grade and poor OS in UCs of the bladder, but lacks an independent prognostic significance. The strong association with high grade tumors points at a possible role during tumor progression and makes EpCAM a potential target for antibody mediated therapy
- urothelial carcinoma