Objective: The early detection of NSCLC is of importance because it provides chances for better outcomes. The aim of the study was to explore the clinical utility of EGFR and hTERT mRNA expression as markers for diagnosis of NSCLC.
Methods: EGFR and hTERT mRNA were quantified by quantative reverse transcription real time polymerase chain reaction in plasma of 45 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and 40 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients, selected by certain spiro-metric characteristics that made them at high risk of developing lung cancer in future.
Results: The gene expression level of each gene was calculated and given as a relative quantity—RQ. EGFR gene expression was found in all lung cancer patients. The mean level of expression was RQ = 29.39. hTERT mRNA could be detected in 88% of patients. The mean expression ratio in them was RQ = 17.31. Only 50% of the high risk patients turned to be positive for EGFR. The level of their expression was RQ = 2.09. The plasma levels of hTERT could be detected in 17 (42.5%) patients of the high risk COPD group. Their mean level of expression was RQ = 1.02. A statistically significant difference in EGFR and hTERT mRNA expression could be observed between the two groups of patients—p = 0.0001.
Conclusion: EGFR and hTERT mRNA are potential markers for lung cancer diagnosis, whose clinical importance should be replicated in a larger cohort of patients.
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