We have analyzed the bladder biopsies of six bladder cancer patients exposed to high levels of 2-naphthylamine and benzidine, 11 unexposed bladder cancer patients, six subjects with benign conditions of the bladder, and 16 healthy subjects. Immunohistochemical analysis of the p21 and p185 protein products, for overexpression of ras and c-erbB-2 oncogenes, was performed. Overexpression of ras was found in four of six exposed cancer patients, 3 of 11 unexposed cancer patients, zero of six benign disease patients, and zero of 16 healthy subjects. The odds ratio for ras overexpression, comparing exposed with unexposed cases, was 5.3 (90% confidence interval 0.6 to 64). Overexpression of c-erB-2 was apparently not associated with occupational exposure.
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