NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A pair of recent studies highlight the potential for proteomics to aid in the diagnosis of lung cancer as well as the challenges involved in the development of such assays.
Published in the Journal of Proteomics Research and Clinical Proteomics, respectively, the studies looked at early-stage discovery and validation of lung cancer markers and development of a clinical assay for detecting the disease.
In both cases, the work focused on analyzing pulmonary nodules detected during CT scans to determine whether they are likely benign or malignant. This has become a pressing need within pulmonology as increased imaging of high-risk patients has led to an increase in the number of such nodules that are detected and that must be evaluated.
A number of researchers and companies have set to using proteomics to address this question, the hope being that a blood test could help clinicians determine when a patient with a difficult-to-evaluate nodule should be passed on for more invasive procedures like fine needle biopsies or thoracotomies.
Most notably, in 2013 Integrated Diagnostics launched its Xpresys lung test, a mass spec-based proteomics test that measured 11 proteins in patient blood to rule out nodules as not cancerous.