Angiogenic markers in breath condensate identify non-small cell lung cancer
Early recognition of lung cancer is a prerequisite for any strategy to improve lung cancer treatment outcome. Here we report a cross-sectional study intended as a proof of principle investigation using breath based detection (exhaled breath condensate, EBC) of angiogenic markers (VEGF, bFGF, angiogenin), TNF-? and IL-8 to discriminate 74 individuals, with confirmed presence or absence (X-ray, CT) of non-small lung cancer (NSCLC). Levels of angiogenic markers bFGF, angiogenin and VEGF in EBC significantly discriminated between 17 individuals with newly detected NSCLC versus stable and exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients as well as healthy volunteers. Levels of IL-8 and TNF-? in EBC indicated acute inflammation, e.g. in acute exacerbated COPD (AECOPD) and were not indicative of lung cancer. In a different group of patients that were already treated with two cycles of chemotherapy and who responded with at least a 25% reduction in primary tumor diameter, levels of angiogenic markers were lower compared to patients with newly diagnosed NSCLC. We suggest that breath based detection of angiogenic markers may help in the early detection of lung cancer.