Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer specific death worldwide. 85% lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) while remaining are small cell lung cancers (SCLC). Although X-Ray and CT scan remain the main non-invasive diagnosis strategy, the painful lung tissue biopsy is essential for confirmation and staging of the disease.

An international team of researchers from India, UK, Spain, Brazil, and the USA led by Debmalya Barh from the Institute of Integrative Omics and Applied Biotechnology (IIOAB) in Nonakuri, Tamluk, Purba Medinipur, West Bengal, India have identified blood based novel diagnostic markers those can be useful in early detecting the lung cancer and even their sub-typing i.e. whether its SCLC or NSCLC.

The researchers have used a novel reverse-transcriptomics strategy to identify the biomarkers. The findings suggest that in a simple PCR based test if HMGA1, E2F6, IRF1, and TFDP1 are expressed and SUV39H1, RBL1, and HNRPD do not express in blood, the patient is having lung adenocarcinoma and/or squamous cell carcinoma sub-types of NSCLC.

Dr. Elena Padin-Iruegas form Medical Oncology Department, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Spain, who is associated with this research, says that "the identified markers can be made gold standard" and according Debmalya Barh who led the research "The novel reverse-transcriptomics-based integrated approach developed in this work can be applicable to identify early biomarkers not only for the lung cancer but can be applicable to other cancers and diseases too".

The study has been recently published in BMC Genomics 14 (Suppl 6), S5, 25 Oct, 2013.