A combination tapered fiber-optic biosensor (CTFOB) dip probe for rapid and cost-effective quantification of proteins in serum samples has been developed. This device relies on diode laser excitation and a charged-coupled device spectrometer and functions on a technique of sandwich immunoassay. As a proof of principle, this technique was applied in a quantitative estimation of interleukin IL-6. The probes detected IL-6 at picomolar levels in serum samples obtained from a patient with lupus, an autoimmune disease, and a patient with lymphoma. The estimated concentration of IL-6 in the lupus sample was 5.9 ± 0.6 pM, and in the lymphoma sample, it was below the detection limit. These concentrations were verified by a procedure involving bead-based xMAP technology. A similar trend in the concentrations was observed. The specificity of the CTFOB dip probes was assessed by analysis with receiver operating characteristics. This analysis suggests that the dip probes can detect 5-pM or higher concentration of IL-6 in these samples with specificities of 100%. The results provide information for guiding further studies in the utilization of these probes to quantify other analytes in body fluids with high specificity and sensitivity. © 2010 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.