A new blood-based test, developed by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, shows promise in predicting lung cancer risk more accurately.
The study, detailed in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reveals that a four-protein panel (4MP) combined with a lung cancer risk model (PLCOm2012) outperforms the current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) criteria in identifying individuals at high risk of lung cancer.
The study analyzed blood samples from individuals in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial.
It included 552 participants who later developed lung cancer and 2,193 who did not. Notably, 70% of the diagnosed individuals died from lung cancer within six years.
The research focused on evaluating the combination of 4MP and PLCOm2012 for predicting lung cancer-specific mortality, particularly among those with a smoking history of at least 10 pack-years (PYs).
The results showed that this combination had better sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value than both the 2013 and 2021 USPSTF screening criteria.
Potential Impact and Future Use
The new blood test could significantly impact lung cancer screening, especially for individuals not currently eligible under USPSTF guidelines.
As described by co-corresponding author Samir Hanash, M.D., Ph.D., this blood test can help personalize lung cancer screening decisions.
Edwin Ostrin, M.D., Ph.D., another co-corresponding author, envisions this tool being used globally to improve early detection rates.
Lung cancer is responsible for approximately 25% of cancer deaths. With early detection being crucial for survival, this test could be a game-changer, especially in countries where lung cancer screening is not routine.
While this blood test could soon be available as a lab-developed test, full FDA approval might require further evaluation through a prospective clinical trial.
If successful, this test could become a widely used tool for lung cancer screening, potentially saving lives through early detection.
This breakthrough in lung cancer risk assessment offers a more effective alternative to the existing USPSTF screening guidelines.
It highlights the importance of personalized medical approaches and the potential for widespread, accessible screening for lung cancer in the future.
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The research findings can be found in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
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