Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 3669–3674 | Cite as

SNAI1 Protein Expression is an Independent Negative Prognosticator in Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer

  • Bastian Keck
  • Sven Wach
  • Peter J. Goebell
  • Frank Kunath
  • Simone Bertz
  • Jan Lehmann
  • Michael Stöckle
  • Helge Taubert
  • Bernd Wullich
  • Arndt Hartmann
Urologic Oncology



The prognosis of muscle-invasive bladder cancer is poor. Molecular prognosticators have gained increasing attention for individualized therapeutic options because they can identify patients with different prognoses.


Tissue microarrays of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tumor samples from 206 bladder cancer patients treated with cystectomy and chemotherapy were studied for SNAI1 protein expression by immunohistochemistry. SNAI1 expression was evaluated using an immunoreactive score (IRS). For statistical analysis, the patients were separated into two groups: those with tumor specimens negative for SNAI1 expression (IRS = 0), and the other positive for SNAI1 expression (IRS ≥1).


Tumor samples from 42 patients showed negative SNAI1 expression, whereas the nuclei of tumor cells from 164 patients showed detectable nuclear staining of SNAI1. A Kaplan–Meier analysis of the bladder cancer patients with negative SNAI1 expression showed significantly reduced disease-specific survival (DSS) and progression-free survival (PFS) compared to the patients with positive expression (p = 0.010 and 0.013). A multivariate Cox regression analysis (adjusted for gender, age, tumor stage, tumor grade, lymph node metastasis, chemotherapy, and histologic subtype) again showed a significant correlation between patients lacking SNAI1 expression and DSS (p = 0.005; relative risk 2.31; 95 % confidence interval 1.28–4.17) or PFS (p = 0.004; relative risk 2.20; 95 % confidence interval 1.29–3.78) compared to patients with positive SNAI1 staining.


Loss of SNAI1 protein expression is an independent prognosticator for PFS and DSS in bladder cancer patients treated by radical cystectomy and adjuvant chemotherapy. Its prognostic value for neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy must be evaluated in further prospective randomized controlled trials.


Bladder Cancer Adjuvant Chemotherapy Radical Cystectomy Urothelial Carcinoma Prospective Randomized Control Trial 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank American Journal Experts for language editing.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bastian Keck
    • 1
  • Sven Wach
    • 1
  • Peter J. Goebell
    • 1
  • Frank Kunath
    • 1
  • Simone Bertz
    • 2
  • Jan Lehmann
    • 3
  • Michael Stöckle
    • 4
  • Helge Taubert
    • 1
  • Bernd Wullich
    • 1
  • Arndt Hartmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of UrologyUniversity Hospital ErlangenErlangenGermany
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity ErlangenErlangenGermany
  3. 3.Department of UrologyStaedtisches KrankenhausKielGermany
  4. 4.Department of UrologySaarland UniversityBad HomburgGermany

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