The incidence of transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), the fourth most common neoplasm diagnosed in men, is rising. Despite the development of several noninvasive diagnostic tests, none have gained full recognition by the clinicians. Gene expression profiling of tumors can identify new molecular markers for early diagnosis and disease follow-up. It also allows the classification of tumors into subclasses assisting in disease diagnosis and prognosis, as well as in treatment selection. In this paper, we employed expression profiling for molecular analysis of TCC. A TCC-derived cDNA microarray was constructed and hybridized with 19 probes from normal urothelium and TCC tissues. Hierarchical clustering analysis identified all normal urothelium samples to be tightly clustered and separated from the TCC samples, with 29 of the genes significantly induced (t-test, P<10(-5)) in noninvasive TCC compared to normal urothelium. The identified genes are involved in epithelial cells' functions, tumorigenesis or apoptosis, and could become molecular tools for noninvasive TCC diagnosis. Principal components analysis of the noninvasive and invasive TCC expression profiles further revealed sets of genes that are specifically induced in different tumor subsets, thus providing molecular fingerprints that expand the information gained from classical staging and grading.