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J Egypt Natl Canc Inst. 2012 Dec;24(4):151-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jnci.2012.08.002. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

Bladder cancer and schistosomiasis.

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Radiation Oncology Department, Children's Cancer Hospital and National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.


Schistosoma-associated bladder cancer was believed, for several decades, to be a completely unique entity of disease, different from urothelial cancer. This was probably due to its distinct clinicopathologic and demographic features that varied from those of urothelial entity. The carcinogenesis is an extremely complex process resulting from the accumulation of many genetic and epigenetic changes leading to alterations in the cell proliferation regulation process. In bladder cancer, many of these carcinogenic cascades were not fully documented or somewhat conflicting. Inspite of the efforts performed, much is still needed to explore the presence or absence of the carcinogenic difference with a different etiology. The control of schistosomiasis in certain countries and the subsequent decrease in the intensity of infestation showed changing of features approaching that of urothelial tumors. However the schistosoma-associated bladder cancer presented in more advanced stages than schistosoma-non associated urothelial cancer. More recently, data are gathered that, upon applying the same treatment protocol and management care, stage by stage comparison of the treatment end-results were found to be similar in bladder cancer patients with a different etiology. All treatment options; including radical cystectomy with or without adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemo- or radiotherapy or trimodality bladder preserving treatment seem to lead to similar end-results regardless of etiologic factor(s) implicated in bladder cancer development.

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