This study aimed to investigate the relationship of caveolin-1 expression with prognosis in patients with transitional cell carcinoma of the upper urinary tract (TCC-UUT). Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of TCC-UUT from 98 patients, who had undergone radical nephroureterectomy, were stained immunohistochemically using antibodies against caveolin-1. The expression pattern of caveolin-1 was compared with the clinicopathological variables. The caveolin-1 expression was significantly correlated with T stage (p<0.001) and grade (p=0.036). The survival rate of patients with caveolin-1 positive tumors was significantly lower than that of patients with caveolin-1 negative tumors (p<0.0001). The univariate analyses identified T stage, grade, and caveolin-1 expression as significant prognostic factors for cancer-specific survival, whereas the multivariate analyses indicated that T stage and caveolin-1 expression were independent prognostic factors. These results show that the increased expression of caveolin-1 is associated with tumor progression and poor prognosis in TCC-UUT, suggesting that caveolin-1 may play an important role in the progression of TCC-UUT.
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