Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

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

Virginia Urquidi1, Myron Chang2, Yunfeng Dai2, Jeongsoon Kim1, Edward D Wolfson3, Steve Goodison1 and Charles J Rosser134*

Author Affiliations

1 Cancer Research Institute, MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando, Orlando, FL, 32827, USA

2 Department of Biostatistics, The University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA

3 Department of Pharmacology, The University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA

4 Section of Urologic Oncology, MD Anderson 391 Cancer Center Orlando, 1400 S. Orange Ave, Orlando, FL, 32806, USA

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BMC Urology 2012, 12:12  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-12-12

Published: 4 May 2012



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.

IL-8; Biomarkers; Diagnosis; Bladder cancer