Adhesion molecules are thought to have a role in the host defense against carcinogenesis. In this study, we measured serum platelet-(P-) selectin, soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-I (s-VCAM-I), and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-I (sICAM-I) levels in 51 sequential bladder cancer patients at our urology clinic and 8 controls. Serum levels of P-selectin, s-VCAM-I and s-ICAM-I were significantly higher in all patients than controls. Serum P-selectin and s-ICAM-I levels did not differ based on tumor (T) stage and tumor grade, whereas serum levels of s-VCAM-I were significantly higher in patients with muscle invasive tumors than those with superficial tumors. Further, s-VCAM-I levels correlated with T stage. In conclusion, significantly increased P-selectin, s-VCAM-I, and s-ICA-M-I levels were observed in patients with bladder cancer, and s-VCAM-I levels correlated with T stage. Thus, we suggest that the analysis of serum s-VCAM-I levels may provide a prognostic test for T stage and bladder cancer progression during and/or following therapy. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.