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Serum Inflammatory Markers as Classifiers of Lung Cancer Mortality

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have discovered that elevated expression of cytokines IL-6 and IL-17 in the serum of early stage lung cancer patients is associated with increased risk of lung cancer recurrence. This prognostic biomarker test can therefore identify which early stage lung cancer patients would benefit from more aggressive therapy, and which are likely to be completely cured with surgical resection.
NIH Reference Number
Product Type
  • Prognostic
Collaboration Opportunity
This invention is available for licensing and co-development.
Description of Technology

Lung cancer remains the number one cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Early detection of lung cancer remains the most effective method to improve patient prognosis, and the recent adoption of low-dose CT (LDCT) imaging in high-risk lung cancer individuals has resulted in increased detection of stage I lung cancer. Most patients respond completely to surgery, the standard of care for stage I lung cancer, but approximately 30% of patients diagnosed with stage I develop recurrence which leads to mortality.

There exists a need for a diagnostic test that will identify patients with early stage lung cancer with a greater likelihood for recurrence. By stratifying patients, physicians can reassure patients that their cancer will not relapse after surgery, or recommend more aggressive therapeutic strategies. Recent work at the NCI has identified that circulating levels of the cytokines IL-6 and IL-17 are predictive of early stage lung cancer prognosis.

Available for licensing and collaborative development are methods of determining prognosis in early stage lung cancer by measuring serum levels of IL-6 and IL-17.

Potential Commercial Applications
  • Prognostic biomarker test to identify risk of stage I lung cancer recurrence
Competitive Advantages
  • There are no known prognostic tests for stage I lung cancer, despite recurrence in 30% of patients
  • Blood based test offers a non-invasive method to screen patients
Development Stage

CL Meaney et al. Identification of serum inflammatory markers as classifiers of lung cancer mortality for stage I adenocarcinoma  [PMID: 28402963]

Patent Status
  • U.S. Provisional: U.S. Provisional Patent Application Number 62/412,690, Filed 25 Oct 2016
Therapeutic Area
Friday, June 16, 2017