Objectives. To evaluate c-erbB-2 gene amplification and its prognostic significance in transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder. Methods. Alterations in the gene copy number of c-erbB-2 were detected in 57 bladder tumor samples using a method based on the polymerase chain reaction. Results. Eighteen tumors (32%) showed gene amplification of c-erbB-2, which correlated with tumor grade and stage. A strong association of c-erbB-2 amplification with patient survival was also found. The amplification resulted in a significantly poorer prognosis among the patients with high-grade and/or invasive tumors. Multivariate analysis revealed that c-erbB-2 amplification and tumor grade were independent prognostic factors. Conclusions. Our data indicate a possible role of the c-erbB-2 gene in the development of aggressive behavior in bladder tumors. Moreover, the use of c-erbB-2 gene amplification, together with tumor grade and stage, could provide an accurate basis for determining the prognosis of bladder cancer.
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