Cyclooxygenase-2 Expression in Bladder Cancer and Patient Prognosis: Results from a Large Clinical Cohort and Meta-Analysis
Czachorowski MJ, Amaral AF, Montes-Moreno S, Lloreta J, Carrato A, Tardón A, Morente MM, Kogevinas M, Real FX, Malats N; for the SBC/EPICURO investigators. PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e45025. Epub 2012 Sep 13.


Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), Madrid, Spain.


Aberrant overexpression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) is observed in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB). Studies evaluating COX2 as a prognostic marker in UCB report contradictory results. We determined the prognostic potential of COX2 expression in UCB and quantitatively summarize the results with those of the literature through a meta-analysis. Newly diagnosed UCB patients recruited between 1998-2001 in 18 Spanish hospitals were prospectively included in the study and followed-up (median, 70.7 months). Diagnostic slides were reviewed and uniformly classified by expert pathologists. Clinical data was retrieved from hospital charts. Tissue microarrays containing non-muscle invasive (n = 557) and muscle invasive (n = 216) tumours were analyzed by immunohistochemistry using quantitative image analysis. Expression was evaluated in Cox regression models to assess the risk of recurrence, progression and disease-specific mortality. Meta-hazard ratios were estimated using our results and those from 11 additional evaluable studies. COX2 expression was observed in 38% (211/557) of non-muscle invasive and 63% (137/216) of muscle invasive tumors. Expression was associated with advanced pathological stage and grade (p<0.0001). In the univariable analyses, COX2 expression - as a categorical variable - was not associated with any of the outcomes analyzed. As a continuous variable, a weak association with recurrence in non-muscle invasive tumors was observed (p-value = 0.048). In the multivariable analyses, COX2 expression did not independently predict any of the considered outcomes. The meta-analysis confirmed these results. We did not find evidence that COX2 expression is an independent prognostic marker of recurrence, progression or survival in patients with UCB.