Elevated levels of the acute-phase serum amyloid are associated with heightened lung cancer risk

Mattia Cremona, Elisa Calabrò, Giorgia Randi, Maida De Bortoli, Piera Mondellini, Carla Verri, Gabriella Sozzi, Marco A. Pierotti, Carlo La Vecchia, Ugo Pastorino, Italia Bongarzone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The authors investigated whether early stage lung cancer could be identified by proteomic analyses of plasma. METHODS: For the first case-control study, plasma samples from 52 patients with lung cancer and from a group of 51 controls were analyzed by surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. In a second case-control study, a classifier of 4 markers (mass-to-charge ratio, 11,681, 6843, 5607, and 8762) also was tested for validation on plasma from 16 consecutive patients with screen-detected cancer versus 406 healthy individuals. The most relevant marker was identified, and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based analysis revealed that signal intensity was correlated with concentration. RESULTS: The classifier had a sensitivity of 94.23% and a specificity of 76.47% in the first study but lost predictive value in the second study. Nevertheless, the 11,681 cluster, which was identified as serum amyloid protein A (SAA), resulted in a multiple logistic regression model that indicated a strong association with lung cancer. When both studies were considered as a together, the odds ratio (OR) for an SAA intensity ≥0.5 was 10.27 (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.64-22.74), whereas an analysis restricted to stage I cancers (TNM classification) revealed an OR of 8.45 (95% CI, 2.76-25.83) for T1 lung cancer and 21.22 (95% CI, 5.62-80.14) for T2 lung cancer. CONCLUSIONS: SAA levels were predictive of an elevated risk of lung cancer, supporting the general view that inflammation is implicated in lung cancer development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1326-1335
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Biomarkers
  • Epidemiologic study
  • Inflammation
  • Lung cancer risk
  • Serum amyloid A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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