Urinary schistosomiasis and the associated bladder cancer: update

Mohamed S. Zaghloul, Tarek M. Zaghloul, Mai K. Bishr, Brian C. Baumann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Urinary schistosomiasis and its severe complications, mainly bladder cancer, are scarce in non-endemic areas. The deficiency in knowledge and clinical experience of schistosomiasis may lead to inadequate management. Highlighting these topics may be of value, especially with the increased immigration from endemic low-/middle-income countries (LMIC) to non-endemic high-income countries (HIC). Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection endemic in many low- and middle-income countries. It can affect various systems but is best known for its effect on the urinary system. Main Body: PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, and the Cochrane Library databases were searched for urinary schistosomiasis and its related bladder cancer published from 1980 till 2020. Schistosoma haematobium (SH) infecting the urinary bladder was considered by the IARC as group 1 definitive biological carcinogenic agent. Several carcinogenic pathways have been postulated but the exact mechanism(s) are not defined yet. A more thorough understanding of the parasite life cycle was explored to help eradicate the infection especially for the immigrants from endemic areas. This may prevent or slow down the process of carcinogenesis that leads to Schistosoma-associated bladder cancer (SA-BC), which is usually, but not conclusively, squamous cell carcinoma. Treatment of SA-BC generally follows the same guidelines as urothelial Schistosoma-non-associated bladder cancer (SNA-BC) management; however, prospective trials to confirm and refine the treatment approach for SA-BC have been relatively limited. Conclusion: The available data showed that despite some etiologic and carcinogenic differences, the oncologic outcomes are generally comparable for SA-BC and NSA-BC when adjusting for stage, risk status, and comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalJournal of the Egyptian National Cancer Institute
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Bilharziasis
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Schistosoma-associated bladder cancer (SA-BC)
  • Schistosomiasis
  • Treatment


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