Proteins involved in tumor cell migration can potentially serve as markers of invasive disease. Activated Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule (ALCAM) promotes adhesion, while shedding of its extracellular domain is associated with migration. We hypothesized that shed ALCAM in biofluids could be predictive of progressive disease. ALCAM expression in tumor (n = 198) and shedding in biofluids (n = 120) were measured in two separate VUMC bladder cancer cystectomy cohorts by immunofluorescence and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. The primary outcome measure was accuracy of predicting 3-year overall survival (OS) with shed ALCAM compared to standard clinical indicators alone, assessed by multivariable Cox regression and concordance-indices. Validation was performed by internal bootstrap, a cohort from a second institution (n = 64), and treatment of missing data with multiple-imputation. While ALCAM mRNA expression was unchanged, histological detection of ALCAM decreased with increasing stage (P = 0.004). Importantly, urine ALCAM was elevated 17.0-fold (P < 0.0001) above non-cancer controls, correlated positively with tumor stage (P = 0.018), was an independent predictor of OS after adjusting for age, tumor stage, lymph-node status, and hematuria (HR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.03-2.06; P = 0.002), and improved prediction of OS by 3.3% (concordanceindex, 78.5% vs. 75.2%). Urine ALCAM remained an independent predictor of OS after accounting for treatment with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, carcinoma in situ, lymph-node dissection, lymphovascular invasion, urine creatinine, and adjuvant chemotherapy (HR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.02-1.19; P = 0.011). In conclusion, shed ALCAM may be a novel prognostic biomarker in bladder cancer, although prospective validation studies are warranted. These findings demonstrate that markers reporting on cell motility can act as prognostic indicators.
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