Molecular markers for detection, surveillance and prognostication of bladder cancer


  • Conflicts of interest: The corresponding author received a lecture honorarium from Matritech in 2007.

J Alfred Witjes md phd, Department of Urology (659), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Email:


Many markers for the detection of bladder cancers have been tested and almost all urinary markers reported are better than cytology with regard to sensitivity, but they score lower in specificity. Currently molecular and genetic changes play an important role in the discovery of new molecular markers for detection, prognostication and surveillance. The purpose of this review is to highlight the most important urinary molecular biomarker developments that have been studied and reported recently. In the current review we have summarized the most recent and relevant published reports on molecular urinary markers. The results of this review show that the first generation of urinary markers did not add much to urinary cytology. The current generation of markers is better, but additional clinical trials are needed. Our knowledge of molecular pathways in bladder cancer is growing and new methods of marker development emerge, but the perfect marker is still to be found. Currently, there are not clinically usable molecular markers that can guide us in diagnosis or surveillance, nor guide us in lowering the frequency of urethrocystoscopy in bladder cancer.