Evaluating a combination treatment of NK cells and reovirus against bladder cancer cells using an in vitro assay to simulate intravesical therapy

Sci Rep. 2024 Mar 28;14(1):7390. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-56297-7.


Intravesical treatment using either reovirus or natural killer (NK) cells serves as an efficient strategy for the treatment of bladder cancer cells (BCCs); however, corresponding monotherapies have often shown modest cytotoxicity. The potential of a locoregional combination using high-dose reovirus and NK cell therapy in an intravesical approach has not yet been studied. In this study, we evaluated the effectiveness of reoviruses and expanded NK cells (eNK) as potential strategies for the treatment of bladder cancer. The anti-tumor effects of mono-treatment with reovirus type 3 Dearing strain (RC402 and RP116) and in combination with interleukin (IL)-18/-21-pretreated eNK cells were investigated on BCC lines (5637, HT-1376, and 253J-BV) using intravesical therapy to simulate in vitro model. RP116 and IL-18/-21-pretreated eNK cells exhibited effective cytotoxicity against grade 1 carcinoma (5637 cells) when used alone, but not against HT-1376 (grade 2 carcinoma) and 253J-BV cells (derived from a metastatic site). Notably, combining RP116 with IL-18/-21-pretreated eNK cells displayed effective cytotoxicity against both HT-1376 and 253J-BV cells. Our findings underscore the potential of a combination therapy using reoviruses and NK cells as a promising strategy for treating bladder cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-18 / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-18 / therapeutic use
  • Killer Cells, Natural / pathology
  • Orthoreovirus*
  • Reoviridae*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms* / pathology


  • Interleukin-18