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Br J Cancer. 1995 April; 71(4): 801–807.
PMCID: PMC2033737

Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) enhances monocyte- and lymphocyte-mediated bladder tumour cell killing.


A cytotoxicity assay was used to study the action of bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and cytokines on four human bladder cancer cell lines. Monocytes and lymphocytes from peripheral blood were incubated with or without BCG or cytokines for 24 h, after which [3H]thymidine-labelled target cells were added and the 72 h percentage specific release determined. BCG had a direct cytotoxic effect against tumour cells and significantly enhanced monocyte/macrophage and enhanced lymphocyte cytotoxicity against one cell line (UCRU-BL-17). Supernatants (SNs) from BCG-activated monocytes/macrophages and lymphocytes increased the percentage specific release of [3H]thymidine from UCRU-BL-17 cells. Interferon alpha (IFN-alpha) and interleukin 2 (IL-2) were cytotoxic towards UCRU-BL-17. No synergy occurred between BCG and cytokines at the concentrations tested. The results suggest that BCG is superior to IFN-alpha, interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) and IL-2 in enhancing cell-mediated cytotoxicity.

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