Affiliation: Health Sciences Research Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Av. Infante D. Henrique, 6201-506 Covilha, Portugal.
The leaves of Camellia sinensis (L.) are the source of tea, the second most consumed beverage worldwide. Tea contains several chemical compounds such as polyphenols (mainly catechins), caffeine, theophylline, L-theanine, among many others. Polyphenolic compounds are mainly responsible for its significant antioxidant properties and anticarcinogenic potential. Bladder cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, and its progression and onset are thought to be controlled by dietary and lifestyle factors. Epidemiological studies showed that the regular consumption of tea can be a preventive factor for this type of cancer, and several in vivo and in vitro studies reported that tea and its components may interfere in the cancer cells’ signaling, preventing the bladder tumor progression. The mechanisms responsible for this protection include deregulation of cell cycle, induction of apoptosis while protecting the surrounding healthy bladder cells, inhibition of metastization processes, among others. Herein, we discuss the potential beneficial effects of tea and tea components in bladder cancer prevention and/or treatment, and how they can be helpful in finding new therapeutic strategies to treat this type of cancer.