Using the molecular biomarkers present in the tissue and fluid lining of the lungs may be another technique that can be used in lung cancer screening, according to a new study published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
Since the National Lung Screening Trial found that 96.4 percent of the positive CT screening results were false positive, scientists have been looking for ways to more accurately diagnose patients. This research focused on a way to determine if the nodules detected by the CT screening, are in fact malignant or benign.
The study presented in the June 2012 issue of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's (IASLC) Journal of Thoracic Oncology
collected endobronchial epithelial-lining fluid (ELF) near a lung nodule using bronchoscopic microsampling, which is a less invasive procedure compared to surgery.
After studying 142 ELF samples from 71 patients with pulmonary nodules, some cancerous, others non cancerous, the authors conclude that, "TNC (tenasin-C) gene expression and the nodule size are two independent factors that improved the prediction of lung cancer. However this finding has to be verified in larger cohorts."
The authors point out that in previous research, "tumor markers like CEA and CYFRA were found to be in higher abundance in ELF close to the small peripheral lung carcinoma when compared to the contralateral site or benign cases."