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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 357591, 6 pages
Review Article

Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin-Induced Macrophage Cytotoxicity against Bladder Cancer Cells

Department of Urology, University of Iowa, 375 Newton Road, 3202 MERF, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA

Received 15 June 2010; Accepted 16 August 2010

Academic Editor: Bernhard Fleischer

Copyright © 2010 Yi Luo and Matthew J. Knudson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Many details of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in Mycobacterium bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunotherapy of bladder cancer have been discovered in the past decades. However, information on a potential role for macrophage cytotoxicity as an effector mechanism is limited. Macrophages play pivotal roles in the host innate immunity and serve as a first line of defense in mycobacterial infection. In addition to their function as professional antigen-presenting cells, the tumoricidal activity of macrophages has also been studied with considerable interest. Studies have shown that activated macrophages are potent in killing malignant cells of various tissue origins. This review summarizes the current understanding of the BCG-induced macrophage cytotoxicity toward bladder cancer cells with an intention to inspire investigation on this important but underdeveloped research field.