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J Proteome Res. 2017 Jan 6;16(1):3-13. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.6b00559. Epub 2016 Nov 2.

Serum Protein Markers for the Early Detection of Lung Cancer: A Focus on Autoantibodies.

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Analytical Biochemistry, Department of Pharmacy, University of Groningen , Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands.


Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate among cancer patients in the world, in particular because most patients are only diagnosed at an advanced and noncurable stage. Computed tomography (CT) screening on high-risk individuals has shown that early detection could reduce the mortality rate. However, the still high false-positive rate of CT screening may harm healthy individuals because of unnecessary follow-up scans and invasive follow-up procedures. Alternatively, false-negative and indeterminate results may harm patients due to the delayed diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. Noninvasive biomarkers, complementary to CT screening, could lower the false-positive and false-negative rate of CT screening at baseline and thereby reduce the number of patients that need follow-up and diagnose patients at an earlier stage of lung cancer. Lung cancer tissue generates lung cancer-associated proteins to which the immune system might produce high-affinity autoantibodies. This autoantibody response to tumor-associated antigens starts during early stage lung cancer and may endure over years. Identification of tumor-associated antigens or the corresponding autoantibodies in body fluids as potential noninvasive biomarkers could thus be an effective approach for early detection and monitoring of lung cancer. We provide an overview of differentially expressed protein, antigen, and autoantibody biomarkers that combined with CT imaging might be of clinical use for early detection of lung cancer.


antibody; antigen; biomarker; computed tomography (CT) screening; early detection; lung cancer; next-generation sequencing (NGS); proteomics; tumor immunology

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