Urothelial Carcinoma of the Bladder Induces Endothelial Cell Activation and Hypercoagulation


Cancer-related venous thromboembolisms (VTE) are associated with metastasis and reduced survival in patients with urothelial cancer of the bladder. Although previous reports suggest the contribution of tissue factor and podoplanin, the mechanistic linkage between VTE and bladder cancer cell-derived molecules is unknown. Therefore, we compared distinct procoagulant pathways in four different cell lines. In vitro findings were further confirmed by microfluidic experiments mimicking the pathophysiology of tumor blood vessels and in tissue samples of patients with bladder cancer by transcriptome analysis and immunohistology. In vitro and microfluidic experiments identified bladder cancer-derived VEGF-A as highly procoagulant because it promoted the release of von Willebrand factor (VWF) from endothelial cells and thus platelet aggregation. In tissue sections from patients with bladder cancer, we found that VWF-mediated blood vessel occlusions were associated with a poor outcome. Transcriptome data further indicate that elevated expression levels of enzymes modulating VEGF-A availability were significantly connected to a decreased survival in patients with bladder cancer. In comparison with previously postulated molecular players, we identified tumor cell-derived VEGF-A and endothelial VWF as procoagulant mediators in bladder cancer. Therapeutic strategies that prevent the VEGF-A-mediated release of VWF may reduce tumor-associated hypercoagulation and metastasis in patients with bladder cancer. IMPLICATIONS: We identified the VEGF-A-mediated release of VWF from endothelial cells to be associated with bladder cancer progression.

Bibliographical data

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 07.2020
PubMed 32234826