Diagnosis of Non-small Cell Lung Cancer for Early Stage Asymptomatic Patients

Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2019 Jul-Aug;16(4):229-244. doi: 10.21873/cgp.20128.


Background/aim: In 2016 in the United States, 7 of 10 patients were estimated to die following lung cancer diagnosis. This is due to a lack of a reliable screening method that detects early-stage lung cancer. Our aim is to accurately detect early stage lung cancer using algorithms and protein biomarkers.

Patients and methods: A total of 1,479 human plasma samples were processed using a multiplex immunoassay platform. 82 biomarkers and 6 algorithms were explored. There were 351 NSCLC samples (90.3% Stage I, 2.3% Stage II, and 7.4% Stage III/IV).

Results: We identified 33 protein biomarkers and developed a classifier using Random Forest. Our test detected early-stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) with a 90% accuracy, 80% sensitivity, and 95% specificity in the validation set using the 33 markers.

Conclusion: A specific, non-invasive, early-detection test, in combination with low-dose computed tomography, could increase survival rates and reduce false positives from screenings.

Keywords: Early stage lung cancer; biomarkers; detection; diagnosis; immunoassay; non-small cell lung cancer; proteomics.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / pathology
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging