Apoptosis and chemotherapy in bladder cancer in bladder cancer

J.J. McKnight, S.B. Gray, H.F. O'Kane, S.R. Johnston, Kathleen Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To discuss the role of apoptosis, gene directed self-destruction of a cell, in the response of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder cells to chemotherapy. Methods: A directed MEDLINE literature search of apoptosis, bladder cancer and chemotherapy was performed to extract the relevant information, which was reviewed. The characteristics of apoptotic cells were defined and the methods in common use to detect these traits were described. The role of the key mediators of the apoptotic process in bladder cancer is discussed in the context of chemosensitivity and stage of disease. The importance of induction of apoptosis post chemotherapy is highlighted. Results: On stimulus by appropriate external or internal signals, a cell may alter the expression of genes coding for proteins associated with the apoptotic process. The development of apoptosis depends on the balance between pro- and anti- apoptotic proteins. Key alterations in genes and proteins related to apoptosis within bladder cancer result in a shift away from an ability to undergo apoptosis towards a cell with increased survival properties that is chemoresistant. Conclusions: Much current research in bladder cancer is aimed at restoring chemosensitivity by shifting the balance in a cell towards a pro-apoptotic phenotype. Successful translation of this work into clinical practice may improve survival in patients in whom prognosis is currently poor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-690
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Urology
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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