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A marker in the lining of the lungs could be useful diagnostic technique for lung cancer screening

Authors suggest it could help in preoperative diagnosis along with other methods

The most recent research released in June's Journal of Thoracic Oncology says molecular biomarkers in the tissue and fluid lining the lungs might be an additional predictive technique for lung cancer screening.

Since the National Lung Screening Trial found that 96.4 percent of the positive CT screening results were false positive, scientists have been looking for ways to more accurately diagnose patients. This research focused on a way to determine if the nodules detected by the CT screening, are in fact malignant or benign.

The study presented in the June 2012 issue of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's (IASLC) Journal of Thoracic Oncology collected endobronchial epithelial-lining fluid (ELF) near a lung nodule using bronchoscopic microsampling, which is a less invasive procedure compared to surgery.

After studying 142 ELF samples from 71 patients with pulmonary nodules, some cancerous, others non cancerous, the authors conclude that, "TNC (tenasin-C) gene expression and the nodule size are two independent factors that improved the prediction of lung cancer. However this finding has to be verified in larger cohorts."

The authors point out that in previous research, "tumor markers like CEA and CYFRA were found to be in higher abundance in ELF close to the small peripheral lung carcinoma when compared to the contralateral site or benign cases."

The lead authors of this work include: Dr. Nicolas Kahn, Thoraxklinik University of Heidelberg; Philipp Schnabel, Institute of Pathology in Heidelberg; and Prof. Ruprecht Kuner, German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg. Other IASLC member co-authors include: Michael Meister, Thomas Muley and Dr. Felix Herth.
About the IASLC:

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 3,500 lung cancer specialists in 80 countries. To learn more about IASLC please visit

Kristal Griffith | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: CT screening Cancer IASLC Oncology Thoracic lung cancer

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