Blood test may help detect early-stage lung cancer


The new study presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting is among the first to reveal “liquid biopsy” approach to early lung-cancer detection is feasible. Three genome sequencing assays were used: targeted sequencing for single nucleotide variants/indels; whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for copy number aberrations; and whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) for methylation. Currently, low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) is the gold standard for lung cancer screening, however, few high-risk people undergo LDCT exams due to high false-positive results which can lead to unnecessary invasive procedures. The WGBS detected 41% of stage I-IIIA lung cancers, and 89% of late-stage (IIIB–IV) lung cancers from the initial results for the 127 patients with stage I–IV lung cancer. In the same population, the WGS and targeted assays had similar findings. False-positive rates were low, with fewer than 1% of noncancer populations yielded a signal. This study indicated that blood test could possibly help detect early-stage lung cancer.