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AACR: Blood Test Identifies Lung Cancer in Nonsmokers

Panel of biomarkers can identify disease in blood samples of never smokers

TUESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- A novel diagnostic blood test using a panel of biomarkers can identify the presence of lung cancer among individuals who have never smoked, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held April 2 to 6 in Orlando, Fla.

Charlie Birse, Ph.D., of the Celera Corporation in Alameda, Calif., and colleagues evaluated more than 600 samples that were randomly divided into a training set composed of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were smokers and matched controls, followed by a testing set of additional NSCLC cases and matched controls. After establishment of biomarkers, the investigators conducted additional studies in 80 individuals who never smoked, including 40 with various stages of cancer and histological cell types and 40 control subjects matched by age and gender.

The investigators found that the test had a sensitivity of 83 percent and a specificity of 83 percent in identifying lung cancer. In addition, all stages of lung cancer and histological cell types were distinguished. The investigators are aiming to use this test in patients with suspect chest scans using computed axial tomography (CT) technology.

"In addition to intentional CT scans for lung cancer, many people undergo chest scans for heart disease prevention or other conditions and incidental nodules appear in the lungs that may or may not be benign," Birse said in a statement. "This panel of biomarkers would allow these imaging tests to be further evaluated and provide a degree of certainty in diagnosis."

Abstract No. 2813
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