Identification of a blood-based protein biomarker panel for lung cancer detection

Victoria El-Khoury*, Anna Schritz, Sang Yoon Kim, Antoine Lesur, Katriina Sertamo, François Bernardin, Konstantinos Petritis, Patrick Pirrotte, Cheryl Selinsky, Jeffrey R. Whiteaker, Haizhen Zhang, Jacob J. Kennedy, Chenwei Lin, Lik Wee Lee, Ping Yan, Nhan L. Tran, Landon J. Inge, Khaled Chalabi, Georges Decker, Rolf BjerkvigAmanda G. Paulovich, Guy Berchem, Yeoun Jin Kim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer worldwide, mainly due to its advanced stage at the time of diagnosis. A non-invasive method for its early detection remains mandatory to improve patients’ survival. Plasma levels of 351 proteins were quantified by Liquid Chromatography-Parallel Reaction Monitoring (LC-PRM)-based mass spectrometry in 128 lung cancer patients and 93 healthy donors. Bootstrap sampling and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) penalization were used to find the best protein combination for outcome prediction. The PanelomiX platform was used to select the optimal biomarker thresholds. The panel was validated in 48 patients and 49 healthy volunteers. A 6-protein panel clearly distinguished lung cancer from healthy individuals. The panel displayed excellent performance: area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) = 0.999, positive predictive value (PPV) = 0.992, negative predictive value (NPV) = 0.989, specificity = 0.989 and sensitivity = 0.992. The panel detected lung cancer independently of the disease stage. The 6-protein panel and other sub-combinations displayed excellent results in the validation dataset. In conclusion, we identified a blood-based 6-protein panel as a diagnostic tool in lung cancer. Used as a routine test for high-and average-risk individuals, it may complement currently adopted techniques in lung cancer screening.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1629
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Lung cancer
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Parallel reaction monitoring
  • Plasma biomarker
  • Targeted proteomics


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