Urological Research

, Volume 25, Supplement 1, pp S45–S49 | Cite as

c-myc in bladder cancer Clinical findings and analysis of mechanism

  • B. J. Schmitz-Dräger
  • W. A. Schulz
  • B. Jürgens
  • C. -D. Gerharz
  • C. R. C. van Roeyen
  • H. Bültel
  • T. Ebert
  • R. Ackermann
Original Paper


The c-myc gene product is known to be involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. Altered c-myc gene expression is a common event in a variety of tumors. This study was designed to investigate c-myc overexpression in transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). The first part was designed to investigate the frequency of c-myc overexpression in relation to tumor stage and tumor grade. A second set of experiments was directed at the mechanisms underlying c-myc overexpression in TCC. A total of 185 paraffin-embedded urothelial tissue specimens were investigated immunohistochemically for c-myc overexpression. A single case of overexpression (6%) was observed in normal urothelial tissue (n=16). c-myc overexpression was also infrequent in carcinoma in situ (TIS) (7/39=18%). In contrast, papillary urothelial tumors (n=65) yielded c-myc overexpression in 38 cases (58%). Investigation of infiltrating bladder tumors revealed c-myc overexpression in 56% of T1 tumors and 59% of muscle-infiltrating tumors. The staining pattern in multifocal tumors was heterogeneous in 10 of 18 cases. Similarly, only 12 of 28 patients with tumor recurrences showed the same c-myc staining pattern in the primary tumorand in tumor recurrences. c-myc overexpression did not correlate with tumor grade or tumor progression. Nevertheless, the high frequency of c-myc overexpression in urothelial carcinoma suggests an important role for this protein in urothelial carcinoma. Therefore, the mechanism underlying c-myc overexpression was further investigated in six bladder carcinoma cell lines. Southern blot experiments under standardized conditions showed no significant gene amplification. The comparison of c-myc mRNA expression to that of histoneH3 as a measure of cell proliferation revealed a moderate correlation (r=0.45) in the six cell lines examined. These data suggest that in accord with its established role as a cell cycle competence factor, c-myc may be necessary but not sufficient for the induction of proliferation in urothelial carcinoma.

Key words

c-myc Protooncogene Bladder cancer Dysplasia Carcinoma in situ Cell proliferation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. J. Schmitz-Dräger
    • 1
    • 3
  • W. A. Schulz
    • 1
    • 3
  • B. Jürgens
    • 1
  • C. -D. Gerharz
    • 2
  • C. R. C. van Roeyen
    • 1
  • H. Bültel
    • 1
  • T. Ebert
    • 1
  • R. Ackermann
    • 1
  1. 1.Urologische KlinikHeinrich-Heine UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Institut für PathlogieHeinrich-Heine UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany
  3. 3.Biomedizinisches Forschungszentrum (BMFZ)Heinrich-Heine UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany

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