Growth factor activity was partially purified from human renal tumors and a human bladder cancer cell line by beparin-Sepharose chromatography. This activity stimulated bovine capillary endothelial cell proliferation and DNA synthesis in BALB/c 3T3 cells. Partially purified growth factor preparations from these tumors contained a protein with an approximate molecular weight of 17,000 which was recognized by a polyclonal antiserum raised against a peptide fragment of basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF). This growth factor activity appears to be related to basic fibroblast growth factor.

Measurement of FGF-like activity in 50 urine samples from 32 adult males showed that 55% (6 of 11) of the urine samples from patients with bladder cancer and 100% (7 of 7) of the urine samples from patients with kidney cancer contained activity equivalent to more than 20 ng of basic FGF/h of urine production. In contrast, only 6% (2 of 32) of the urine samples from controls, patients with a benign disease, or patients with a history of bladder or kidney cancer contained this level of growth factor activity. These results suggest that patients with bladder or kidney cancer release an FGF-like factor into urine which may be used as a marker for these tumors.


This work supported by NIH Grant CA 33145, the Cancer and Urology Research Endowment Fund of the University of Chicago, the Cancer Research Foundation, and a gift from the Johnson & Johnson Corporation.

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