World Journal of Urology

, Volume 36, Issue 11, pp 1759–1766 | Cite as

Modeling human bladder cancer

  • Cassandra Ringuette-Goulet
  • Stéphane Bolduc
  • Frédéric Pouliot
Topic Paper



Bladder cancer is a major public health concern and the treatment options available are unable to significantly prevent disease recurrence and progression. The need for experimental tumor models to efficiently reproduce the pathology of human cancers has prompted researchers to attempt various approaches.


A PubMed search combining the MeSH bladder cancer and models was executed in March 2017.


We review the advantages and limitations of currently available in vitro 2D and 3D bladder cancer models as well as in vivo rodent models. To date, despite the description of a variety of animal models (including transplantable, carcinogen-induced and genetically engineered models), the establishment of reliable, simple, practicable and reproducible animal models remains an ongoing challenge. Recently, sophisticated 3D culture systems have been designed to better recapitulate the phenotypic and cellular heterogeneity as well as microenvironmental aspects of in vivo tumor growth, while being more flexible to conduct repeated experiments.


Selecting the most appropriate model for a specific application will maximize the conversion of potential therapies from the laboratory to clinical practice and requires an understanding of the various models available.


Bladder cancer Animal models 3D models 



We thank Stéphane Chabaud for carefully reading the manuscript. This work was supported by Bladder Cancer Canada Grant to FP and CRG and Ferring Grant to SB. CRG is the recipient of an FRQS Doctoral Research award. FP is the recipient of FRQS Scholarship. SB is the recipient of Canadian Urological Association Scholarship Funds and Canadian Institute for Health Research Grant #258229.

Author contributions

CRG completed the preparation of table and wrote the manuscript that has been corrected and revised by SB and FP.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cassandra Ringuette-Goulet
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Stéphane Bolduc
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frédéric Pouliot
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre de recherche en organogénèse expérimentale/LOEX, Regenerative Medicine DivisionCHU de Québec Research CenterQuebecCanada
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, Faculty of MedicineUniversité LavalQuebecCanada
  3. 3.Oncology DivisionCHU de Québec Research CenterQuebecCanada

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