Clinical Utility of a Plasma Protein Classifier for Indeterminate Lung Nodules

Anil Vachani, Zane Hammoud, Steven Springmeyer, Neri Cohen, Dao Nguyen, Christina Williamson, Sandra Starnes, Stephen Hunsucker, Scott Law, Xiao Jun Li, Alexander Porter, Paul Kearney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Evaluation of indeterminate pulmonary nodules is a complex challenge. Most are benign but frequently undergo invasive and costly procedures to rule out malignancy. A plasma protein classifier was developed that identifies likely benign nodules that can be triaged to CT surveillance to avoid unnecessary invasive procedures. The clinical utility of this classifier was assessed in a prospective–retrospective analysis of a study enrolling 475 patients with nodules 8–30 mm in diameter who had an invasive procedure to confirm diagnosis at 12 sites. Using this classifier, 32.0 % (CI 19.5–46.7) of surgeries and 31.8 % (CI 20.9–44.4) of invasive procedures (biopsy and/or surgery) on benign nodules could have been avoided. Patients with malignancy triaged to CT surveillance by the classifier would have been 24.0 % (CI 19.2–29.4). This rate is similar to that described in clinical practices (24.5 % CI 16.2–34.4). This study demonstrates the clinical utility of a non-invasive blood test for pulmonary nodules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1027
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Biomarker
  • Clinical utility
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung nodule
  • Prospective
  • Xpresys lung

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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