Verification of the biomarker candidates for non-small-cell lung cancer using a targeted proteomics approach.
Lung cancer, with its high metastatic potential and high mortality rate, is the worldwide leading cause of cancer-related deaths. High-throughput "omics"-based platforms have accelerated the discovery of biomarkers for lung cancer, and the resulting candidates are to be evaluated for their diagnostic potential as noninvasive biomarkers. The evaluation of the biomarker candidates involves the quantitative measurement of large numbers of proteins in bodily fluids using advanced mass spectrometric techniques. In this study, a robust pipeline based on targeted proteomics was developed for biomarker verification in plasma samples and applied to verifying lung cancer biomarker candidates. Highly multiplexed liquid chromatrography-selected reaction monitoring (LC-SRM) assays for 95 potential tumor markers for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were generated to screen plasma samples obtained from 72, early to late stage, patients. A total of 17 proteins were verified as potent tumor markers detectable in plasma and, where available, verified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). A novel plasma-based biomarker, zyxin, fulfilled the criteria for a potential early diagnostic marker for NSCLC.