OBJECTIVE: We sought to characterise circulating and tissue tumour biomarkers of patients who developed early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) during long-term follow-up of a chemoprevention trial (NCT00321893).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Blood and sputum samples were collected from 202 high-risk asymptomatic individuals with CT-detected stable lung nodules. Real-time PCR was performed on plasma to quantify free circulating DNA. Baseline serum was investigated with a previously validated test based on 13 circulating miRNAs (miR-Test). Promoter methylation status of p16, RASSF1a and RARβ2 and telomerase activity were assessed in sputum samples. DNA was extracted from each tumour developed during follow-up and subjected to a mutation survey using the LungCarta panel on the Sequenom MassARRAY platform.
RESULTS: During follow-up (9 years) six individuals underwent surgery for stage I NSCLC with a median time of disease onset of 20.5 months. MiR-Test scores were positive (range: 0.14-7.24) in four out of six baseline pre-disease onset sera. No association was identified between free circulating DNA or sputum biomarkers and disease onset. All tumours harboured at least one somatic mutation in well-known cancer genes, includingKRAS(n = 4),BRAF(n = 1), andTP53(n = 3).
CONCLUSION: Circulating miRNA tests may represent valuable tools to detect clinically-silent tumours. Early-stage lung adenocarcinomas harbour recurrent genetic events similar to those described in advanced-stage NSCLCs.
- Journal Article