We investigated the prognostic and predictive relevance of p53, MDM2, and bcl-2 protein expression in patients with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder. The expression of p53, MDM2 and bcl-2 protein was studied by immunohistochemical methods in paraffin-embedded specimens from 119 patients whose clinicopathologic data confirmed TCC of the bladder. Multivariate analyses of prognostic factors were performed, and correlations with classical clinicopathologic parameters were examined. Sixty-one, 12, and 17% of cases were considered positive for expression of p53, MDM2 and bcl-2, respectively. p53 expression correlated with stage (p=0.0209), but not MDM2 and bcl-2 with any clinicopathologic parameters. In Cox's regression analysis, staging demonstrated a statistically worse prognosis (hazard ratio 1.636; p=0.0059) while bcl-2 (hazard ratio 0.179; p=0.0474) expression showed favorable prognosis in stage T2-4 invasive TCC of the bladder. Co-expression with p53/MDM2 (hazard ratio 0.367; p=0.0401) and p53/bcl-2 (hazard ratio 3.487; p=0.0111) overexpression were associated with favorable and unfavorable prognosis in stage T2-4 invasive TCC of the bladder, respectively. Our results indicate that staging is the most useful parameter to predict clinical outcome in patients with TCC of the bladder. Determinations of bcl-2 and co-expression p53/MDM2 and p53/bcl-2 may be useful for predicting tumor behavior and prognosis in stage T2-4 invasive type TCC of the bladder.