Potential biomarkers for lung cancer screening
Notwithstanding the encouraging results of the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) the scientific community still debates on the cost-benefit profile of low dose computed tomography (LDCT) lung cancer screening. Several major concerns regard how to identify subjects at high risk of developing lung cancer, the optimal diagnostic algorithm, the management of lung nodules and the high false positive rates. The use of complementary biomarkers would be a useful strategy for dealing with most of these issues. This short review will focus on candidates’ biomarkers circulating in serum or plasma that already reached an advanced validation phase also in LDCT lung cancer screening series. The biomarkers presented below are examples of the value of searching candidates by looking not only to the tumor itself but also to the interplay between the tumor and the host in order to identify early changes related to the biological reactivity of the host to a developing cancer.