Role of a serum-based biomarker panel in the early diagnosis of lung cancer for a cohort of high-risk patients

Da Wei Yang, Yong Zhang, Qun Ying Hong, Jie Hu, Chun Li, Bai Shen Pan, Qun Wang, Fei Hong Ding, Jia Xian Ou, Fang Lei Liu, Dan Zhang, Jie Bai Zhou, Yuan Lin Song, Chun Xue Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND This study applied a combined cancer biomarker panel to clinically identify small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a high-risk population. METHODS The serum levels of 4 biomarkers (progastrin-releasing peptide [ProGRP], carcinoembryonic antigen [CEA], squamous cell carcinoma antigen [SCC], and cytokeratin 19 fragment [CYFRA21-1]) were determined in 153 patients with a high risk of lung cancer (12 with a new diagnosis of SCLC, 52 with NSCLC, and 89 without lung cancer). Information about diagnosis delays was collected through interviews of all participants. RESULTS Significantly higher serum levels of ProGRP (P < .0001) were found among the SCLC patients versus the rest of the population. A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis established the cutoff values of ProGRP, CEA, SCC, and CYFRA21-1 as 300 pg/mL, 7.3 ng/mL, 3 ng/mL, and 6.5 ng/mL, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of ProGRP in diagnosing SCLC were 75% and 100%, respectively. Among the 14 lung cancer patients with a false-negative computed tomography (CT) result, the diagnostic panel detected 8 additional cancers. CONCLUSIONS This panel increased the diagnostic specificity for high-risk subjects (those with renal failure being excluded), and auxiliary to a CT scan, it increased the sensitivity for patients with lung cancer. These results might be applied to shorten the diagnosis delay at health care institutions in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3113-3121
Number of pages9
Issue numberS17
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • biomarker
  • delayed diagnosis
  • non-small cell lung cancer
  • progastrin-releasing peptide (ProGRP)
  • small cell lung cancer


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