The International Consensus Panel on cytology and bladder tumor markers evaluated markers that have the ability to predict tumor recurrence, progression, development of metastases, or response to therapy or patient survival. This article summarizes those findings. The panel mainly reviewed articles listed in PubMed on various prognostic indicators for bladder cancer. Based on these studies, most of which were case-control retrospective studies, various prognostic indicators were classified into 6 groups: (1) microsatellite-associated markers, (2) proto-oncogenes/oncogenes, (3) tumor suppressor genes, (4) cell cycle regulators, (5) angiogenesis-related factors, and (6) extracellular matrix adhesion molecules. The panel concluded that although certain markers, such as Ki-67 and p53, appear to be promising in predicting recurrence and progression of bladder cancer, the data are still heterogeneous. The panel recommends that identifying definitive criteria for test positivity, a clearly defined patient population, standardization of techniques used to evaluate markers, and clearly specified endpoints and statistical methods will help to bring accurate independent prognostic indicators into the clinical management of patients with bladder cancer.
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