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01-04-2013 | Lung cancer | Article

Potential interstitial lung disease markers identified


Free abstract

medwireNews: Study findings suggest that three proteins may be associated with interstitial lung disease (ILD) development.

The authors say that further investigation of the proteins - complement (C)3, C4A/B, and apolipoprotein (APO)A1 - as predictive markers of ILD development may be worthwhile.

The potential association between ILD and the proteins was identified when the protein profiles of 15 patients with ILD and 64 ILD-free controls were analyzed.

All study participants were Japanese, had non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and were enrolled in a phase IV study of erlotinib. The patients included in the ILD group developed the lung condition within 120 days of receiving erlotinib.

Writing in the journal Clinical Lung Cancer, Shinji Atagi (National Hospital, Osaka, Japan) and co-authors report that serum samples were taken before the start of erlotinib treatment.

Liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy/mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS) was then used to identify proteins and peptides in the serum samples.

Logistic regression analysis showed different levels of expression in the case group versus controls for some of the 3581 peptides and 118 proteins included in the analyses. However, when multiplicity was taken into account, no single protein marker was significantly associated with ILD.

Nonetheless, when multiple methods of analysis were used, C3, C4A/C4B, and APOA1 appeared within the top 10 markers found among the ILD patients, irrespective of the method of analysis used and irrespective of adjustment for four clinical ILD risk factors: smoking history, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 2 to 4, coexisting or previous ILD, and coexisting or previous lung infection.

The authors report that a specific trend involving the three proteins was observed among ILD patients.

"There was a tendency for ILD to develop more readily when C3 levels were higher than the median and when C4A/C4B and APOA1 levels were lower than the median," explain Atagi et al.

They highlight that other studies have also identified differences in specific protein expression between ILD and ILD-free patients, and that C3, C4A, and APOA1 have been among the ILD-related proteins identified.

Atagi and co-authors conclude: "Future research with a focus on these proteins will be significant as a new biological approach for identifying factors predicting the development of ILD."

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2013

By Lauretta Ihonor, medwireNews reporter

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