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Disease Markers
Volume 2018, Article ID 7308168, 21 pages
Review Article

Biomarkers in Urachal Cancer and Adenocarcinomas in the Bladder: A Comprehensive Review Supplemented by Own Data

1Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstr 55, 45147 Essen, Germany
2Department of Urology, University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Hufelandstr 55, 45147 Essen, Germany
3Department of Urology, Semmelweis University, Üllői út 78/b, 1082 Budapest, Hungary
4Department of Urology, The Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, Netherlands
5Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Henning Reis; ed.enilno-t@sier.gninneh

Received 25 July 2017; Accepted 6 February 2018; Published 12 March 2018

Academic Editor: Tilman Todenhöfer

Copyright © 2018 Henning Reis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Urachal cancer (UrC) is a rare but aggressive cancer. Due to overlapping histomorphology, discrimination of urachal from primary bladder adenocarcinomas (PBAC) and adenocarcinomas secondarily involving the bladder (particularly colorectal adenocarcinomas, CRC) can be challenging. Therefore, we aimed to give an overview of helpful (immunohistochemical) biomarkers and clinicopathological factors in addition to survival analyses and included institutional data from 12 urachal adenocarcinomas. A PubMed search yielded 319 suitable studies since 1930 in the English literature with 1984 cases of UrC including 1834 adenocarcinomas (92%) and 150 nonadenocarcinomas (8%). UrC was more common in men (63%), showed a median age at diagnosis of 50.8 years and a median tumor size of 6.0 cm. No associations were noted for overall survival and progression-free survival (PFS) and clinicopathological factors beside a favorable PFS in male patients (). The immunohistochemical markers found to be potentially helpful in the differential diagnostic situation are AMACR and CK34βE12 (UrC versus CRC and PBAC), CK7, β-Catenin and CD15 (UrC and PBAC versus CRC), and CEA and GATA3 (UrC and CRC versus PBAC). Serum markers like CEA, CA19-9 and CA125 might additionally be useful in the follow-up and monitoring of UrC.