Urinary interleukin-8 Levels Are Elevated in Subjects With Transitional Cell Carcinoma

Urology. 2003 Jul;62(1):162-6. doi: 10.1016/s0090-4295(03)00134-1.


Objectives: Interleukin (IL)-8 is one of several angiogenic factors produced in bladder cancer cell lines. Although many studies have indicated that IL-8 is increased in infectious/inflammatory processes, elevated levels of IL-8 in urine also may be indicative of active transitional cell carcinoma (TCC).

Methods: Urinary IL-8 levels were measured with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in subjects with TCC (n = 51), prostate cancer (n = 17), or a history of successfully treated TCC (n = 23) and in healthy subjects (n = 49). In addition, urinary IL-8 levels were measured in 21 subjects before, during, and 1 month after intravesical therapy with bacille Calmette-Guérin or mitomycin C.

Results: The median urinary IL-8 levels were greater in subjects with TCC (64 pg/mL urine) than in healthy subjects (6 pg/mL urine), subjects with prostate cancer (0.5 pg/mL urine), or subjects with a history of successfully treated TCC (5.0 pg/mL urine). Urinary IL-8 levels were greater in subjects with invasive (high-stage) TCC than in those with low-stage TCC. Furthermore, the postintravesical instillation levels of urinary IL-8 levels were greater in patients whose TCC recurred compared with those whose TCC was in remission.

Conclusions: IL-8 levels were greater in subjects with TCC compared with those with successfully treated TCC. IL-8 levels increased with TCC stage, indicating that they are greater in more invasive (ie, angiogenic) tumors. A reduction in urinary IL-8 levels after treatment with bacille Calmette-Guérin or mitomycin C may reflect a decrease in bladder cancer cells and/or in other cells that produce IL-8.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / urine
  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating / therapeutic use
  • BCG Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • BCG Vaccine / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / urine*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / urine
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / urine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Interleukin-8 / urine*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitomycin / administration & dosage
  • Mitomycin / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / urine
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / urine*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
  • BCG Vaccine
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Interleukin-8
  • Mitomycin