Loss of AQP3 protein expression is associated with worse progression-free and cancer-specific survival in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer

Peter Rubenwolf, Christian Thomas, Stefan Denzinger, Arndt Hartmann, Maximilian Burger, Nikolaos T. Georgopoulos, Wolfgang Otto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Urothelial carcinoma has recently been shown to express several aquaporins (AQP), with AQP3 being of particular interest as its expression is reduced or lost in tumours of higher grade and stage. Loss of AQP3 expression was associated with worse progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with pT1 bladder cancer. The objective of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of AQP3 expression in patients with muscle-invasive bladder carcinoma (MIBC). Methods: Retrospective single-centre analysis of the oncological outcome of patients following radical cystectomy (Cx) due to MIBC. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess AQP3 protein expression in 100 Cx specimens. Expression levels of AQP3 were related to clinicopathological variables. The impact of biomarker expression on progression-free, cancer-specific and overall survival was determined by multivariate Cox regression analysis (MVA). Results: High expression of AQP3 by the tumour was associated with a statistically significantly improved PFS (75 vs. 19 %, p = 0.043) and CSS (75 vs. 18 %, p = 0.030) and, alongside lymph node involvement, was an independent predictor of PFS (HR 2.871, CI 1.066–7.733, p = 0.037), CSS (HR 3.325, CI 1.204–8.774, p = 0.019) and OS (HR 2.001, CI 1.014–3.947) in MVA. Conclusions: Although the results of the study would be strengthened by a larger, more appropriately powered, prospective, multi-institutional study, our findings strongly suggest that AQP3 expression status may represent an independent predictor of PFS and CSS in MIBC and may help select patients in need for (neo-)adjuvant chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1959-1964
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


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