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Immunol Res. 2007;39(1-3):79-93.

Neutrophils and TRAIL: insights into BCG immunotherapy for bladder cancer.

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  • 1Department of Urology, 3204 MERF, University of Iowa, 375 Newton Road, Iowa City, IA 52242-1089, USA.


Bladder cancer is a huge economic burden on the healthcare system and is responsible for approximately 5% of all cancer deaths in humans. Mycobacterium bovis BCG-based therapy is the treatment of choice for superficial bladder cancer. Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) instillation in the bladder results in a massive local inflammatory response that has secondary antitumor properties. Recent studies have demonstrated that neutrophils present in the bladder after BCG instillation release large amounts of the apoptosis-inducing molecule TRAIL, as well as chemokines that recruit other immune cells, suggesting that neutrophils play a key role in the antitumor response to BCG therapy. This review discusses the impact of these findings on the understanding of the antitumor mechanisms underlying BCG-based immunotherapy for bladder cancer.

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