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RUNX3 methylation as a predictor for disease progression in patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer



Background and Objectives

We have previously reported that RUNX3 inactivation by promoter hypermethylation correlated with advanced disease and poor clinical outcome in bladder cancer. In this study, we examined primary tumors from non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) patients in order to investigate the relationship between RUNX3 methylation and disease progression.


The association between the hypermethylation of RUNX3 and clinicopathological characteristics of 186 NMIBC samples was analyzed using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MS-PCR).


RUNX3 methylation was associated with increased tumor stage, grade, and number of tumors (each P < 0.05). Kaplan–Meier estimates revealed significant differences in time to recurrence and progression based on RUNX3 methylation status (P = 0.043 and 0.006, respectively). RUNX3 methylation was an independent predictor of NMIBC progression on univariate and multivariate analysis. Combining tumor grade and RUNX3 methylation status demonstrated that patients with G3 tumors with RUNX3 methylation had a worse progression-free survival compared with the patients with lower-grade or unmethylated tumors [hazard ratio (HR), 19.450].


RUNX3 methylation status predicted the risk of NMIBC progression independently of tumor stage. In conjunction with tumor grade, RUNX3 methylation status in patients with NMIBC strongly predicts disease progression. J. Surg. Oncol. 2012;105:425–430. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.