SARS-CoV-2 Infection and High-Risk Non-Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer: Are There Any Common Features

Gian Maria Busetto, Angelo Porreca, Francesco Del Giudice, Martina Maggi, Daniele D'Agostino, Daniele Romagnoli, Gennaro Musi, Giuseppe Lucarelli, Katie Palmer, Ascanio Colonna Di Paliano, Matteo Muto, Rodolfo Hurle, Daniela Terracciano, Ottavio De Cobelli, Alessandro Sciarra, Ettore De Berardinis, Matteo Ferro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The new severe acute respiratory syndrome virus (SARS-CoV-2) outbreak is a huge health, social and economic issue and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Bladder cancer, on the contrary, is a well-known disease burdened by a high rate of affected patients and risk of recurrence, progression and death. Summary: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV) often involves mild clinical symptoms but in some cases, it can lead to pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiorgan dysfunction. Factors associated with developing a more severe disease are increased age, obesity, smoking and chronic underlying comorbidities (including diabetes mellitus). High-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) progression and worse prognosis are also characterized by a higher incidence in patients with risk factors similar to COVID-19. Immune system response and inflammation have been found as a common hallmark of both diseases. Most severe cases of COVID-19 and high-risk NMIBC patients at higher recurrence and progression risk are characterized by innate and adaptive immune activation followed by inflammation and cytokine/chemokine storm (interleukin [IL]-2, IL-6, IL-8). Alterations in neutrophils, lymphocytes and platelets accompany the systemic inflammatory response to cancer and infections. Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio for example have been recognized as factors related to poor prognosis for many solid tumors, including bladder cancer, and their role has been found important even for the prognosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Key Messages: All these mechanisms should be further analyzed in order to find new therapeutic agents and new strategies to block infection and cancer progression. Further than commonly used therapies, controlling cytokine production and inflammatory response is a promising field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-522
Number of pages13
JournalUrologia Internationalis
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


Dive into the research topics of 'SARS-CoV-2 Infection and High-Risk Non-Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer: Are There Any Common Features'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this