Circulating Biomarkers for Early Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma Detection: Supplementation to Low-Dose Computed Tomography Article

Full Text via DOI: 10.3389/fonc.2021.555331 Web of Science: 000647105800001
Open Access International Collaboration

Cited authors

  • Kan CFK, Unis GD, Li LKZ, Gunn S, Li L, Soyer HP, Stark MS


  • Lung cancer is currently the leading cause of cancer death in both developing and developed countries. Given that lung cancer has poor prognosis in later stages, it is essential to achieve an early diagnosis to maximize patients' overall survival. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common form of primary lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers. The current standard screening method, low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), is the only radiological method that demonstrates to have mortality benefits across multiple large randomized clinical trials (RCT). However, these RCTs also found LDCT to have a significant false positive rate that results in unnecessary invasive biopsies being performed. Due to the lack of both sensitive and specific screening methods for the early detection of lung cancer, there is an urgent need for alternative minimally or non-invasive biomarkers that may provide diagnostic, and/or prognostic information. This has led to the identification of circulating biomarkers that can be readily detectable in blood and have been extensively studied as prognosis markers. Circulating microRNA (miRNA) in particular has been investigated for these purposes as an augmentation to LDCT, or as direct diagnosis of lung cancer. There is, however, a lack of consensus across the studies on which miRNAs are the most clinically useful. Besides miRNA, other potential circulating biomarkers include circulating tumor cells (CTCs), circulating tumor DNA (ctDNAs) and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). In this review, we provide the current outlook of several of these biomarkers for the early diagnosis of NSCLC.

Publication date

  • 2021

Published in

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2234-943X

Number of pages

  • 11


  • 11