miR-Test: a blood test for lung cancer early detection

J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Mar 19;107(6):djv063. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djv063. Print 2015 Jun.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Low-dose computed tomography screening (LDCT) was recently shown to anticipate the time of diagnosis, thus reducing lung cancer mortality. However, concerns persist about the feasibility and costs of large-scale LDCT programs. Such concerns may be addressed by clearly defining the target "high-risk" population that needs to be screened by LDCT. We recently identified a serum microRNA signature (the miR-Test) that could identify the optimal target population. Here, we performed a large-scale validation study of the miR-Test in high-risk individuals (n = 1115) enrolled in the Continuous Observation of Smoking Subjects (COSMOS) lung cancer screening program. The overall accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of the miR-Test are 74.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 72.2% to 77.6%), 77.8% (95% CI = 64.2% to 91.4%), and 74.8% (95% CI = 72.1% to 77.5%), respectively; the area under the curve is 0.85 (95% CI = 0.78 to 0.92). These results argue that the miR-Test might represent a useful tool for lung cancer screening in high-risk individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs