Blood Biomarkers May Help Assess Need for Lung Cancer Screening

Blood test based on four-marker protein panel combined with risk prediction model may improve assessment of risk for lung cancer

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TUESDAY, Jan. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A four-marker protein panel (4MP), including the precursor form of surfactant protein B, cancer antigen 125, carcinoembryonic antigen, and cytokeratin-19 fragment, combined with the prostate lung colorectal ovarian cancer risk prediction model (PLCOm2012) may improve risk assessment and help identify candidates for lung cancer screening, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Johannes F. Fahrmann, Ph.D., from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues assessed the performance of the 4MP combined with PLCOm2012 compared to current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) screening criteria in a blinded validation study. The 4MP was assayed in 1,299 sera obtained before lung cancer diagnosis and 8,709 sera from noncases.

The researchers found that the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was 0.79 for case sera collected within one year preceding diagnosis and 0.74 for the entire specimen set with the 4MP alone. For case sera collected within one year before diagnosis, the AUC was 0.85 for the combined 4MP + PLCOm2012 model. In the combined model, the benefit of the 4MP resulted from improved sensitivity at high specificity. The combined 4MP + PLCOm2012 model exhibited significant improvements in sensitivity and specificity compared with the USPSTF 2021 criteria; the combined model would have identified 9.2 percent more lung cancer cases for annual screening among PLCO participants with ≥10 smoking pack-years and would have reduced referral by 13.7 percent among noncases.

"These findings have important implications for improving lung cancer screening programs and reducing the burden of lung cancer through personalized risk assessment," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry and reported intellectual property related to biomarkers for early detection of cancer.

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