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To investigate the effects of cisplatin and paclitaxel against human bladder cancer cells in vitro, and to obtain both pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data after intravesical administration in mice.Six bladder cancer cell lines (J82, KU7, RT4, SW780, T24, UMUC3) were treated with various combined doses of both drugs and cell proliferation was evaluated 3 days later. In vivo, solutions of cisplatin and micellar paclitaxel were instilled transurethrally in female mice and pharmacokinetic data were acquired using high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and atomic absorption methods. To obtain efficacy data, mice with orthotopic KU7-luc tumours were administered cisplatin and/or micellar paclitaxel intravesically, and the tumour burden quantified using bioluminescence imaging.In vitro, both cisplatin and paclitaxel potently decreased the proliferation of all cell lines tested, and in combination had an additive but not a synergistic effect. After intravesical instillation, mouse serum concentrations of cisplatin and paclitaxel were in the low microgram/millilitre range and bladder tissue concentrations achieved were 82 and 241 μg/g, respectively. Similar drug levels were reached using combined therapy. In vivo, all chemotherapeutic agents significantly inhibited bladder tumour growth, with the best results for combined therapy and micellar paclitaxel alone. However, there was toxicity in the combined treatment arm.Both cisplatin and paclitaxel were absorbed at effective amounts into bladder tissues. As intravesical agents, paclitaxel had slightly stronger anticancer potency than cisplatin. Due to increased adverse events, caution should be exercised when combining both cisplatin and paclitaxel intravesically.