Early Detection Research Network

S-adenosylmethionine as a biomarker for the early detection of lung cancer.

S-Adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) is a major methyl donor for transmethylation reactions and propylamine donor for the biosynthesis of polyamines in biological systems, and therefore may play a role in lung cancer development. We hypothesized that AdoMet levels were elevated in patients with lung cancer and may prove useful as a biomarker for early lung cancer.

High-performance liquid chromatography was used to analyze plasma AdoMet levels in triplicate samples from 68 patients. This included 13 patients with lung cancer, 33 smokers with benign lung disease, and 22 healthy nonsmokers. The three groups of subjects were compared with respect to the distribution of demographic and disease characteristics and AdoMet levels. Distributions were examined using summary statistics and box plots, and nonparametric analysis of variance procedures.

Serum AdoMet levels were elevated in patients with lung cancer as compared to smokers with benign lung disorders and healthy nonsmokers. There were no significant correlations between AdoMet levels and tumor cell types, nodule size, or other demographic variables.

Our data demonstrate that plasma levels of AdoMet are significantly elevated in patients with lung cancer. Plasma AdoMet levels may prove to be a useful tool for the diagnosis of early lung cancer, in combination with chest CT. Registered at: clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00301119).

Crawford B, Eylers E, Felner K, Goldberg JD, Greenberg AK, Hung J, Merali S, Naidich D, Phalan B, Rimal B, Rom WN, Zafar S, Zhang M

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Chest, 2007, 132 (4)