Recurrences of Superficial Bladder Carcinoma are Associated with a Raise of CD8high>CD57+ and CD8low T Lymphocytes in Peripheral Blood

John J.L. Jacobs1, *, Dainius Characiejus2, 4, Vita Pašukonienė3, Feliksas Jankevičius4, R. Jeroen A. Van Moorselaar1, Mykolas Mauricas2, Willem Den Otter1
1 Department of Urology, VU University Medical Centre, De Boelelaan 1117, 1081HA Amsterdam
2 Centre for Innovative Medicine, Žygimant 9, 01102, Vilnius, Lithuania
3 Institute of Oncology, Vilnius University, Santariškių 1, 08660 Vilnius, Lithuania
4 Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, M.K. Čiurlionio 21, 03101, Vilnius, Lithuania

© 2010 Jacobs et al.;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Urology, VU University Medical Centre, De Boelelaan 1117, 1081HA Amsterdam; Tel: +31204443116; Fax: +31847566950; E-mail:


Immunotherapy with BCG is effective in patients with recurrent superficial bladder carcinoma. This therapy involves Interleukin-2 (IL-2), but little is known about the immunological parameters involved in superficial bladder carcinoma. We have monitored immunological parameters in twenty patients with superficial bladder carcinoma treated with transurethral resection (TUR) followed by IL-2 instillation. Cell numbers of peripheral blood leukocyte subpopulations were counted before surgery and during follow-up after surgery. During follow-up, we compared the cell counts in patients with and without a recurrent tumour. We used the values of healthy matched controls as a reference. Recurrent disease in patients corresponded with a significant increase in CD8+ lymphocytes, and especially the CD8highCD57+ and CD8low subpopulations. The phenotype of these T lymphocytes belongs to cells with an immunosuppressive function. We hypothesize that these peripheral immune suppressive cells facilitate tumour recurrences or that tumour recurrences cause an increase in peripheral immune suppressive lymphocytes.

Keywords: Bladder Carcinoma, Interleukin-2, Recurrence-free period, Antigen-Specific, Immune Suppression, CD8, CD57.