Open Access

The in Vitro and in Vivo Anti-Cancer Potential of Mycobacterium Cell Wall Fraction (MCWF) Against Canine Transitional Cell Carcinoma of the Urinary Bladder


Transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), is the most common form of urinary bladder cancer in dogs and represents 2% of all reported canine cancers. Canine TCC is usually a high-grade invasive cancer and problems associated with TCC include urinary tract obstruction and distant metastases in more than 50% of affected dogs. TCC is most commonly located in the trigone region of the bladder precluding complete surgical resection. Current treatment options for TCC in dogs include medical therapy, surgery or radiation. Mycobacterium Cell Wall Fraction (MCWF) is a biological immunomodulator derived from non-pathogenic Mycobacterium phlei. MCWF possesses a potential in multiple veterinary areas such as anticancer therapy, palliative care and treatment of infectious diseases in both small and large animals. MCWF is considered a bifunctional anti-cancer agent that induces apoptosis of cancer cells and stimulates cytokine and chemokines synthesis by cells of the immune system. Here we report the results from in vitro and in vivo studies that could suggest use of MCWF as an additional treatment option for TCC in dogs. Particularly, we demonstrated that MCWF induces a concentration dependent inhibition of proliferation of K9TCC cells which was associated with the induction of apoptosis as measured by the proteolytic activation of caspase-3 and the degradation of PARP. Furthermore, we demonstrated the safety and potential for in vivo MCWF treatment efficacy in dogs bearing stage T2 TCC by reducing clinical signs, and improving the quality of life in dogs with TCC.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Veterinary Medicine