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Logo of bmcurolBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Urology
BMC Urol. 2012; 12: 12.
Published online 2012 May 4. doi:  10.1186/1471-2490-12-12
PMCID: PMC3404900

IL-8 as a urinary biomarker for the detection of bladder cancer



Current urine-based assays for bladder cancer (BCa) diagnosis lack accuracy, so the search for improved biomarkers continues. Through genomic and proteomic profiling of urine, we have identified a panel of biomarkers associated with the presence of BCa. In this study, we evaluated the utility of three of these biomarkers, interleukin 8 (IL-8), Matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) and Syndecan in the diagnosis of BCa through urinalysis.


Voided urines from 127 subjects, cancer subjects (n = 64), non-cancer subjects (n = 63) were analyzed. The protein concentrations of IL-8, MMP-9, and Syndecan were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Data were also compared to a commercial ELISA-based BCa detection assay (BTA-Trak©) and urinary cytology. We used the area under the curve of a receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) to compare the performance of each biomarker.


Urinary protein concentrations of IL-8, MMP-9 and BTA were significantly elevated in BCa subjects. Of the experimental markers compared to BTA-Trak©, IL-8 was the most prominent marker (AUC; 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72-0.86). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that only IL-8 (OR; 1.51; 95% CI, 1.16-1.97, p = 0.002) was an independent factor for the detection of BCa.


These results suggest that the measurement of IL-8 in voided urinary samples may have utility for urine-based detection of BCa. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger, prospective cohort.

Keywords: IL-8, Biomarkers, Diagnosis, Bladder cancer

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