Case study of an autoantibody panel for early detection of lung cancer and ground-glass nodules

Lung Cancer

Huo Y, et al. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2020.


PURPOSE: Increasing lung cancer incidence in China with a high death rate due to late diagnosis highlights the need for biomarkers, such as panels of autoantibodies (AAbs), for prediction and early lung cancer diagnosis. We conducted a study to further evaluate the clinical performance of an AAb diagnostic kit.

METHODS: Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, levels of seven AAbs in serum samples from 121 patients with newly diagnosed lung cancer, 84 controls (34 healthy individuals and 50 patients with benign lung disease), and 100 indeterminate solid nodules, were measured. Participants were followed up until 6 months after a positive test result to confirm lung cancer diagnosis.

RESULTS: The seven AAb concentration was significantly higher in lung cancer patients than in controls (P < 0.05). The seven AAb sensitivity and specificity for newly diagnosed lung cancer were 45.5% and 85.3%, respectively, while the seven AAb combined area under the curve (in lung cancer patients versus controls) was 0.660. Of the 28 patients with solid nodules with positive test results, 8 and 3 were diagnosed with lung cancer and benign lung disease, respectively, during follow-up. The positive predictive value of the experiment was 72.7%.

CONCLUSION: Positive AAb test results were associated with a high risk of lung cancer. The seven-AAb panel also had a high predictive value for detecting lung cancer in patients with solid nodules. Our seven lung cancer autoantibody types can provide an important early warning sign in the clinical setting.