Signal stratification of autoantibody levels in serum samples and its application to the early detection of lung cancer

J Thorac Dis. 2013 Oct;5(5):618-25. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2013.08.65.


Background: Further signal stratification for the EarlyCDT®-Lung test should facilitate interpretation of the test, leading to more precise interventions for particular patients.

Methods: Samples were measured for the presence of autoantibodies to seven tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) (p53, NY-ESO-1, CAGE, GBU4-5, SOX2, MAGE A4, and HuD). In addition to the current test cut-offs (determined using a previously reported Validation case-control sample set, set A; n=501), new high and low cut-offs were set in order to maximize the test's positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV, respectively). All three sets of cut-offs were applied to two confirmatory datasets: (I) the case-control set B (n=751), and (II) Population-derived set C (n=883), and all three datasets combined (n=2,135).

Results: For the Validation dataset, cancer/non-cancer positivity for current cut-offs was 41%/9% (PPV =0.109, 1 in 9). The high positive stratum improved this to 25%/2% (PPV =0.274, 1 in 4). The low negative stratum improved this to 8%/23% (NPV =0.990, 1 in 105). This provides a 25-fold difference in lung cancer probability between the highest and lowest groups. The test performs equally well in subjects who fulfilled the entry risk criteria for the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) and subjects who did not meet the NLST criteria.

Conclusions: The EarlyCDT®-Lung test has been converted to a four-stratum test by the addition of high and low sets of cut-offs: patients are thus stratified into four risk categories. This stratification will enable personalization of subsequent screening and treatment programs for high risk individuals or patients with lung nodules.

Keywords: Lung cancer; autoantibody (AAb); risk stratification; tumor-associated antigen.