Early Detection of Lung Cancer: A Role for Serum Biomarkers?
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 non-curable 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 may harm healthy individuals because of unnecessary follow-up scans and invasive follow-up procedures. On the other hand, false-negative and indeterminate results may harm patients due to the delayed diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. Non-invasive biomarkers, complementary to CT screening, could lower the false-positive and false-negative rate of CT screening at baseline screening. The aim of this thesis was to identify lung cancer-associated proteins, especially sequences of autoantibodies, as potential non-invasive biomarkers for early detection of lung cancer. We applied immunological and high-performance proteomics techniques to identify and quantify these proteins in serum of high-risk individuals from a well-controlled multicenter population study (NELSON).
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