Lung cancer is one of the predominant causes of cancer death. The aim of this project is the development of a screening method in persons with high risk for developing lung cancer, based on the measurement of Tumor M2-pyruvate kinase (Tumor M2-PK). Tumor M2-PK is quantitatively detectable in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid-plasma with a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. So far, 60 patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer were included. These were compared to 24 patients with acute inflammatory lung diseases, 56 patients with pneumoconiosis, 22 patients with obstructive airway diseases, and 28 healthy persons. Tumor patients and some individuals suffering from severe inflammatory lung diseases had significantly higher Tumor M2-PK concentrations in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid-plasma than all the other groups. The histologic tumor type had no influence on the plasma levels of Tumor M2-PK. Tumor M2-PK concentrations correlate strongly with the tumor stage, showing significantly increasing concentrations with progressive tumor stages. The present data indicate that Tumor M2-PK could be a valuable tumor marker for the detection of lung cancer.