Capsaicin and the urinary bladder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The urinary bladder is a muscular hollow sac that sits on the floor of the pelvis and stores urine. A layer of epithelial cells lines the internal wall of the bladder. Since these cells are constantly exposed to numerous carcinogens prior to disposal through urine, cigarette smoking and occupational exposure to carcinogens increases the risk of developing bladder cancer. Another common human health issue related to the bladder is the sudden involuntary contraction of the bladder muscle that causes overactive bladder. It is an exceedingly common problem affecting men and women of all age groups. Two major discoveries have propelled expectations regarding the use of capsaicin as a potential therapeutic agent for bladder related diseases; (i) that capsaicin functions through the transient vanilloid receptor and (ii) vanilloid receptor has been shown to be present in the urinary tract. While capsaicin has been used to reduce bladder overactivity in people, its use in cancer therapy is still in preclinical stages. In this chapter we examine the pathology and molecular mechanisms of these two bladder diseases, the current treatment strategies and discuss the potential use of capsaicin as a therapeutic agent. In conclusion, we anticipate that development of capsaicin, as an intravesical agent for recurrent bladder cancer, will happen sooner rather than later.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRole of Capsaicin in Oxidative Stress and Cancer
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789400763173
ISBN (Print)9789400763166
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Bladder cancer
  • Bladder overactivity
  • Urinary bladder
  • Vanilloid receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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