The anti-tumor effect of intravesical administration of normal urothelial cells on bladder cancer

Urothelial bladder cancer (UBC) is the second most common cancer of the genitourinary tract and for advanced forms of the disease it has a high mortality rate. There are no approved new molecularly targeted agents or chemotherapeutics for advanced UBC beyond cisplatin-based chemotherapy except the recently approved anti-programmed death ligand 1 (anti-PD-1/PD-L1) antibody. With complex genetic and epigenetic alterations in tumors, despite several druggable targets identified, to cure UBC is still a challenging unmet medical need. Like other cancers, UBC to the host body is considered as a wound, aging stem cell disease and immunosuppressive disorder. Therefore, we proposed a novel cellular approach to target the host body by intravesical instilling of normal urothelial cells that could repair the injury and reduce inflammation by activating body-reparative capacity and because non-self cells are transplanted, host body immune responses could be induced in the tumor microenvironment of UBC to restrain and even eliminate tumor cells.

In this study, we isolated and expanded normal male murine urothelial cells and intravesically administered them into the bladders of female mice of two orthotopic bladder tumor models and one urothelial injury model.

We showed that the instillation of normal urothelial cells containing stem/progenitor cell population into bladders could have anti-tumor effect in orthotopic tumor models, possibly by activating immune responses and helping injured urothelium tissue recovery in a chemically induced urothelial injury model.

Our findings could lead to an innovative and revolutionary cell therapy modality with normal urothelial cells as an effective and safe therapeutic option for UBC.

Cytotherapy. 2017 Aug 14 [Epub ahead of print]

Chi-Ping Huang, Chi-Cheng Chen, Chih-Rong Shyr

Sex Hormone Research Center, Departments of Urology/Surgery and Medical Laboratory Science & Biotechnology, Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University/Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan., Sex Hormone Research Center, Departments of Urology/Surgery and Medical Laboratory Science & Biotechnology, Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University/Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan; Department of Urology, Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Taichung, Taiwan., Sex Hormone Research Center, Departments of Urology/Surgery and Medical Laboratory Science & Biotechnology, Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University/Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan. Electronic address: .