Contribution of a Blood-Based Protein Biomarker Panel to the Classification of Indeterminate Pulmonary Nodules

Edwin J. Ostrin, Leonidas E. Bantis, David O. Wilson, Nikul Patel, Renwei Wang, Deepali Kundnani, Jennifer Adams-Haduch, Jennifer B. Dennison, Johannes F. Fahrmann, Hsienchang Thomas Chiu, Adi F Gazdar, Ziding Feng, Jian Min Yuan, Samir M. Hanash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Rationale: The workup and longitudinal monitoring for subjects presenting with pulmonary nodules is a pressing clinical problem. A blood-based biomarker panel potentially has utility for identifying subjects at higher risk for harboring a malignant nodule for whom additional workup would be indicated or subjects at reduced risk for whom imaging-based follow-up would be indicated. Objectives: To assess whether a previously described four-protein biomarker panel, reported to improve assessment of lung cancer risk compared with a smoking-based lung cancer risk model, can provide discrimination between benign and malignant indeterminate pulmonary nodules. Methods: A previously validated multiplex enzyme-linked immunoassay was performed on matched case and control samples from each cohort. Measurements: The biomarker panel was tested in two case-control cohorts of patients presenting with indeterminate pulmonary nodules at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the University of Texas Southwestern. Main Results: In both cohorts, the biomarker panel resulted in improved prediction of lung cancer risk over a model on the basis of nodule size alone. Of particular note, the addition of the marker panel to nodule size greatly improved sensitivity at a high specificity in both cohorts. Conclusions: A four-marker biomarker panel, previously validated to improve lung cancer risk prediction, was found to also have utility in distinguishing benign from malignant indeterminate pulmonary nodules. Its performance in improving sensitivity at a high specificity indicates potential utility of the marker panel in assessing likelihood of malignancy in otherwise indeterminate nodules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-236
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thoracic Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Early detection of cancer
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
  • Incidental findings
  • Lung neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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