Research Papers:

Identification of serum proteins and multivariate models for diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of lung cancer

Rong Ma, Heng Xu, Jianzhong Wu, Ashok Sharma, Shan Bai, Boying Dun, Changwen Jing, Haixia Cao, Zhuo Wang, Jin-Xiong She and Jifeng Feng _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:18901-18913. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14782

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Rong Ma1, Heng Xu2, Jianzhong Wu1, Ashok Sharma3, Shan Bai3, Boying Dun3, Changwen Jing1, Haixia Cao1, Zhuo Wang1, Jin-Xiong She3, Jifeng Feng1

1Clinical Cancer Research Center, Jiangsu Cancer Hospital, Nanjing Medical University Affiliated Cancer Hospital Cancer Institute of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210009, China

2Jiangsu Province Institute of Materia Medica, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, 211816, China

3Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, 30912, USA

Correspondence to:

Jifeng Feng, email: [email protected]

Keywords: tumor antigens, NSCLC, inflammation, biomarkers, therapeutic response

Received: July 07, 2016     Accepted: December 27, 2016     Published: January 21, 2017


Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers and has very poor treatment outcome. Biomarkers useful for screening and assessing early therapeutic response may significantly improve the therapeutic outcome but are still lacking. In this study, serum samples from 218 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, 34 small cell lung cancer (SCLC) patients and 171 matched healthy controls from China were analyzed for 11 proteins using the Luminex multiplex assay. Eight of the 11 proteins (OPN, SAA, CRP, CYFRA21.1, CEA, NSE, AGP and HGF) are significantly elevated in NSCLC and SCLC (p = 10–5–10–59). At the individual protein level, OPN has the best diagnostic value for NSCLC (AUC = 0.92), two acute phase proteins (SAA and CRP) have AUC near 0.83, while CEA and CYFRA21.1 also possess good AUC (0.81 and 0.77, respectively). More importantly, several three-protein combinations that contain OPN and CEA plus one of four proteins (CRP, SAA, CYFRA21.1 or NSE) have excellent diagnostic potential for NSCLC (AUC = 0.96). Four proteins (CYFRA21.1, CRP, SAA and NSE) are severely reduced and three proteins (OPN, MIF and NSE) are moderately decreased after platinum-based chemotherapy. Therapeutic response index (TRI) computed with 3–5 proteins suggests that approximately 25% of the NSCLC patients respond well to the therapy and TRI is significantly correlated with pre-treatment protein levels. Our data suggest that therapeutic response in NSCLC patients can be effectively measured but personalized biomarkers may be needed to monitor different subsets of patients.

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