Recent developments in biomarkers for the early detection of lung cancer: perspectives based on publications 2003 to present.


Given the poor prognosis associated with lung cancer, the ability to diagnose lung cancer in its early stages is considered crucial to achieving decreased lung cancer mortality. Herein, we discuss recent advances in biomarker discovery and evaluation of their potential application in the clinical setting.

Novel potential biomarkers have been identified via new techniques including cDNA microarray analysis, comparative genomic hybridization, and proteomics. These factors have been evaluated in various validation studies including tissue microarrays, RT-PCR, and assays of bioactivity. The characterization of these potential biomarkers through analysis of pathways that have been associated with neo-plastic transformation may help to identify the precursor lesions that are associated with subsequent progression to invasive carcinoma. In addition, the past year has also produced intriguing results regarding the detection of biomarkers in easily accessible screening specimens such as sputa, serum, and exhaled breath. Recent advances in these aspects of biomarker identification for the early detection of lung cancer are reviewed.

Identification of new candidate biomarkers and improved applications of previously detected biomarkers show great promise for the ultimate establishment of practical lung cancer screening. While recent studies engender optimism for the creation of clinically applicable screening tests, the biomarkers that have been identified need larger, follow-up validational studies and further characterization as to their biologic importance.

  • Chanin TD
  • Franklin WA
  • Hirsch FR
  • Merrick DT
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Appears In
Curr Opin Pulm Med, 2004, 10 (4)