Serum microRNAs improving the diagnostic accuracy in lung cancer presenting with pulmonary nodules

Yayi He, Shengxiang Ren, Yan Wang, Xuefei Li, Caicun Zhou, Fred R. Hirsch


Background: MicroRNA (miRNA) is an approach for early diagnosing of cancer. We validated a panel of miRNAs (hsa-miR-199a-3p, hsa-miR-148a-3p, hsa-miR-210-3p, hsa-miR-378d and hsa-miR-138-5p) to aid early diagnosis of lung adenocarcinoma by blood test in lung cancer presenting with pulmonary nodules.
Methods: A total of 369 individuals who were detected pulmonary nodules by computed tomography (CT) scan were enrolled into this study. These patients included 274 pulmonary malignant or borderline lung diseases and 122 lung benign pulmonary nodules. When the lung nodules were detected by combining with CT scan, we got patient blood samples in 2 days. Patients’ serum was collected within 2 days prior to miRNAs analyses. We performed miRNAs panel by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
Results: The sensitivity of miRNAs panel was 34.0% and the specificity of miRNAs panel was 90.2%. In invasive adenocarcinoma, the sensitivity of miRNAs panel was 44.7%. The overall false positive rate of CT imaging for nodules and glass ground nodules (GGNs) was 33.1%. When miRNAs panel test positive patients combined with the nodule size, the false positive rate was decreased to 3.2%.
Conclusions: The greatest impact of using the miRNAs panel CT scan was decreasing the false positive. miRNAs panel can improve the diagnosis of lung cancer presenting with nodules combined with CT.