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Lung Cancer. 2012 Aug;77(2):450-9. doi: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2012.03.024. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

Peroxiredoxins and tropomyosins as plasma biomarkers for lung cancer and asbestos exposure.

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Department of Pathology, HUSLAB and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki and Espoo, P.O. 800, FI-00029 HUS, Finland.


The prognosis of lung cancer is poor due to late diagnosis, the lack of established screening programs, and the paucity of early biomarkers for high-risk populations. Plasma proteome analysis was used to identify novel biomarkers for diagnosing lung cancer, and to unravel the mechanisms of underlying pathogenesis. Plasma proteins obtained from asbestos-exposed lung cancer cases detected by CT screening, asbestos-exposed subjects, clinical lung cancer patients, and healthy tobacco smokers, 5-6 cases in each group, were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and identified with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Nine proteins were selected for immunological confirmation in a test or validation set of plasma samples from an additional 49 clinical lung cancer cases, 66 asbestos-exposed patients, and 107 healthy tobacco smokers. Twenty-eight unique proteins were differentially expressed between the four study groups (p<0.05). Peroxiredoxin 1 (PRX1) was detected as a novel plasma marker for lung cancer (p=0.001). We also confirmed the previously found association of serum amyloid A with lung cancer (p<0.001). High plasma levels of tropomyosin 4 (TPM4: p<0.001) and peroxiredoxins 1 and 2 (PRX2: p<0.001) correlated with asbestos exposure or a diagnosis of asbestosis. PRX1 and PRX2 exhibited an inverse correlation with tobacco smoking (p<0.001). Plasma peroxiredoxins 1 and 2, and tropomyosin 4 were shown to associate with asbestos-exposure, and peroxiredoxin 1 with lung cancer. High plasma levels of peroxiredoxin 1 may result from genetic damage caused by reactive oxygen species. This study has identified several biomarkers worthy of further investigation in lung cancer and asbestos-related diseases.

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