Send to

Choose Destination
Scand J Urol Nephrol Suppl. 2008 Sep;(218):79-84. doi: 10.1080/03008880802325309.

Infection: is it a cause of bladder cancer?

Author information

Urology and Nephrology Center, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt.


This article reviews the literature regarding the possible correlation between infection and occurrence of bladder cancer. The PubMed literature database was searched from inception to January 2008. Keywords of bladder, cancer, parasitic, bacterial, viral and infection, were used. Forty studies were included in the review. Several investigators support the idea that schistosomiasis is aetiologically related to the development of bladder cancer in individuals infected with Schistosoma haematobium. Approximately 70% of those with chronic schistosomiasis who have bladder cancer develop squamous cell rather than transitional cell carcinoma. Several investigators suggest that bacteria may play a role in inducing bladder cancer. Clinically, researchers have linked the development of infection, urinary stones and indwelling catheters with bladder cancer. Nevertheless, to date, no prospective study has examined the association between urinary tract infection and bladder cancer risk. The possibility that infection by human papilloma virus (HPV) is a risk factor contributing to bladder cancer has been investigated but no definite conclusions have been drawn. Thus, the debate remains open as to whether there is any direct link between chronic HPV infection and bladder cancer. Only 15 cases of vesical carcinoma have been reported, to date, in the setting of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The rare occurrence of bladder cancer during HIV infection and the lack of correlation with the laboratory markers of HIV disease progression may suggest a trivial association between two unrelated disorders. BK virus is oncogenic in newborn hamsters and can transfer to mammalian cells in vitro, but there is little consistent evidence of a link with human bladder cancer. Studies showed no correlation between herpes simplex virus (HSV) and bladder cancer, but bladder cancer becomes infected with HSV much more easily than non-neoplastic urothelium. In conclusion, with the exception of chronic infection with S. haematobium, the association between the occurrence of bladder cancer and chronic bacterial or viral infections could not be confirmed. Prospective studies with large numbers of patients and controls are required to confirm this issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center