To establish whether the expression of markers of cell differentiation (CK7, CK14, CK20, GATA3), apoptosis (p53), proliferation (Ki67, STAG2) and peri-tumoural lymphocytes (CD3, CD8), provides specific information about urothelial carcinogenesis in neuro-urological patients with bladder cancer (NBC).
Tissue samples from NBC were retrieved from 15 centres in France and compared to control samples from non neuro-urological patients with bladder cancer (NNBC) and from neuro-urological patients without bladder cancer (NB). The expression of CK7, CK14, CK20, GATA3, p53, Ki67, STAG2, CD3 and CD8 markers was analysed using immunohistochemistry of tissue microarray sections.
Overall, tissue samples from 124 patients were included in the study (n = 72 NBC, n = 26 NNBC and n = 26 NB). Muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) was found in 52 NBC patients (72.2%) and squamous cell differentiation in 9 (12.5%). In NBC samples, the expression of CK20 and GATA3 was significantly more frequent in NMIBC compared to MIBC (p = 0.015 and p = 0.004, respectively). CK20 and GATA3 were significantly more expressed in NBC compared to NNBC (p < 0.001 and p = 0.010, respectively). The expression of CK14, Ki67, CD3 and CD8 was significantly more frequent in NBC than in NNBC samples (p = 0.005, p < 0.001, p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). The expression of CD3 and CD8 was similar in NBC and NB samples.
In NBC, markers of basal differentiation, proliferation and peri-tumoural lymphocytes were significantly more expressed compared to NNBC controls. These results suggest the aggressiveness of NBC and the role of chronic inflammation in the carcinogenesis of bladder cancer in neuro-urological patients.

© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.