tNOX as Biomarker of Lung Cancer
tNOX (tumor-associated NOX) is a member of a family of proteins that are involved in cell growth. Normal cells express the NOX enzyme only when they are dividing in response to growth hormone signals. In contrast, cancer cells have gained the ability to express NOX activity at all times. This overactive form of NOX, known as tNOX is vital for the growth of cancer cells, because drugs that inhibit tNOX activity also block tumor cell growth in culture. Serum tNOX test is being developed as a screening tool for the early detection of lung cancer. Those who test positive can be followed up with a medical examination and further tests, ostensibly including high resolution CT. This test is structured with the antibody for lung cancer in one form or another and is a specific diagnosis that also distinguishes between NSCLC and SCLC.
Tumor-Derived DNA and RNA Markers in Blood
PCR enables the detection and quantification of extremely small amounts of tumor- derived nucleic acids. This has led to an increased knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis of lung cancer and a basis for the use of DNA and RNA markers in blood for early cancer detection, diagnostics, and follow-up. Common genetic alterations in lung carcinogenesis are already well known. Several clinical studies have evaluated the role of DNA and RNA aberrations in the blood of lung cancer patients and overall plasma/serum abnormalities were found in a high percentage of patients with lung cancer as compared with healthy controls. The analysis of circulating DNA or RNA in plasma is a promising non-invasive diagnostic tool, requiring only a limited blood sample. Its wide applicability and potential importance will possibly lead to increasing clinical impact in the near future. However, large prospective clinical studies are needed to validate and standardize any tests for DNA or RNA alteration in plasma or serum of high risk individuals or patients with established lung cancer.