Identification of biomarkers for lung cancer in never smokers

Abbreviated Name
Canary Never Smokers
Lead Investigator
Gazdar, AdiUT Southwestern Medical Center
Coordinating Investigator
Feng, Ziding Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Involved Investigators


The overall goal of this project is to identify, verify and apply biomarkers for the early diagnosis or risk assessment of lung cancer in never smokers. The first year will be regarded as a year of discovery. After successful demonstration of the feasibility of the approach for novel marker discovery, funding will be applied for to perform confirmation and preclinical studies on the biomarkers and validation studies (specific aims 2 and 3, to be performed in years two and three). Year two can be regarded as the year of confirmation and year three as the year of validation.


Specific aim 1: Identify biomarkers of potential use for early detection/risk assessment of lung cancers arising in never smokers. Multiple platforms will be utilized by a team of highly experienced and competent investigators to compare and contrast the global and individual genetic alterations in lung cancers arising in current, former and never smokers. Appropriate samples or reagents from a set of already collected tumor and paired adjacent non-malignant lung tissues (or blood plasma) will be distributed to the investigators (Drs. Hanash, Gazdar, Lam and Sidransky). About 30 sets of samples from each group will be utilized. Platforms to be studied will include serum proteomics (Hanash), global messenger gene expression (Gazdar), mutations and copy number analyses for a selected set of genes (Gazdar), global copy number alterations using both SNP and aCGH platforms (Lam) and mitochondrial mutations (Sidransky). Data will be collected and analyzed at the DMCC (Mark Thornquist) and at the Vancouver site (Wan Lam) which has developed software for integration and analysis of cross-platform data. Specific aim 2: Confirmation studies on biomarkers identified in Specific Aim 1. Promising markers identified in Specific Aim 1 will be verified in preclinical studies by other platforms such as FISH and immunostaining using tissue and cell line microarrays, Western blots and qPCR gene expression studies, functional assays etc. After completion of the phase one of the validation process, phase two studies will be initiated. Specific aim 3: Perform phase three validation studies. Markers identified by the DMCC as showing promise after completion of phase 2 studies will be proposed as candidates for EDRN supported phase 3 validation studies.

Analytic Method

FISH, qPCR, mass spectrometry, gene expression, ACGH, SNPS, methylation, microRNA


Data Collections

Protocol ID
Protocol Type
Field of Research
Collaborative Group
Lung and Upper Aerodigestive Cancers Research Group
Cancer Types
  • Malignant neoplasm of bronchus and lung
Phased Status

Associated Forms