Implementing screening programs for risk populations can reduce lung cancer mortality by detecting the disease at early stages, when surgical intervention or chemotherapy treatment can be conducted with best prognosis. Screening protocols based on Low-Dose CT presents a series of drawbacks and needs complementary methods for improving sensitivity and specificity in the screening procedure. Thermal Liquid Biopsy (TLB) is as a complementary technique that, combined with imaging techniques, may improve the efficacy of the screening method.
Blood samples from Healthy Controls (HC) and Lung Cancer Patients (LCP) were analyzed with a high sensitivity microcalorimeter VP-DSC (MicroCal – Malvern Panalytical). The data were processed in Origin 7.0 software. The plasma thermograms were analyzed through a multiparametric method developed by our research group. Statistical models allowed classifying the subjects according their serum thermograms.
115 LCP subjects (average age 64.6±8.7, 83.0% men) with broad stage distribution (II: 5%, III: 26%; IV: 69%), smoking status (64% smoking, 7% non-smoking), histology distribution (37% adenocarcinoma, 29% squamous, 30% small cell) were compared to 119 HC subjects homogeneously distributed from a blood bank. TLB parameters obtained showed statistical differences between HC and LCP groups. Different statistical models were applied in order to establish the optimal TLB output, which is able to classify subjects according to their TLB thermogram: 92% success rate, 90% specificity, and 94% sensitivity (i.e., diagnostic odds ratio of 140).
High positive association between clinical groups and TLB multiparametric model offers advantages over current diagnosis techniques (LDCT imaging), providing a powerful diagnostic approach with a minimally-invasive, low-risk, low-cost clinical test for LCP. Future promising applications, such as screening programs, could be developed from TLB.
Clinical trial identification
Legal entity responsible for the study
Instituto Carlos III (Spain).
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.