As the recurrence and mortality rates of bladder cancer are high, research is needed to find suitable biomarkers for early detection, evaluation of prognosis, and surveillance of drug responses. We performed a computerized search of the Medline/PubMed databases with the key words bladder cancer, biomarker, early detection, prognosis and drug response. Several markers were identified at DNA, RNA and protein levels with different sensitivities and specificities. Only a few of the potential bladder cancer biomarkers have been approved for clinical use. Efforts now should be concentrated on finding a panel of markers with acceptable sensitivity and specificity for early detection of bladder cancer.