Effects of Mycobacterium bovis Calmette et Guérin (BCG) in oncotherapy: Bladder cancer and beyond

Neelam Mukherjee, Esther Julián, Jordi B. Torrelles*, Robert S. Svatek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette et Guérin (BCG) vaccine was generated in 1921 with the efforts of a team of investigators, Albert Calmette and Camille Guérin, dedicated to the determination to develop a vaccine against active tuberculosis (TB) disease. Since then, BCG vaccination is used globally for protection against childhood and disseminated TB; however, its efficacy at protecting against pulmonary TB in adult and aging populations is highly variable. Due to the BCG generated immunity, this vaccine later proved to have an antitumor activity; though the standing mechanisms behind are still unclear. Recent studies indicate that both innate and adaptive cell responses may play an important role in BCG eradication and prevention of bladder cancer. Thus, cells such as natural killer (NK) cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, neutrophils but also MHC-restricted CD4 and CD8 T cells and γδ T cells may play an important role and can be one the main effectors in BCG therapy. Here, we discuss the role of BCG therapy in bladder cancer and other cancers, including current strategies and their impact on the generation and sustainability of protective antitumor immunity against bladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7332-7340
Number of pages9
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2021


  • BCG
  • Bladder cancer
  • Mycobacterium bovis
  • Treatment


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