The main objective of this study is to identify clinically relevant biomarkers of metastatic lung cancer through integrative omics analysis of DNA methylation, gene expression and miRNA in blood.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide with smoking as the main risk factor. The high mortality results in part from our inability to predict and explain differences in risks among current and former smokers, and from the lack of tools to diagnose the disease, particularly metastasis, at an early stage. Among the more promising biomarkers investigated in blood are omic profiles; DNA methylation, gene expression and microRNAs at diagnosis.
In this study, we will identify clinically relevant biomarkers of metastatic lung cancer prior to diagnosis by combining clinical survival data with cross-omics analyses of DNA methylation, gene expression and miRNAs. We will create a globally unique data set consisting of multi-omic signatures of 378 case-controls pairs from three European cohorts (two prospective, one cross-sectional) and additional epigenetic profiles of 428 prospective case-controls pairs from two excellent cohorts. The combination of multi-omics data and detailed clinical information will allow assessments of omic profiles according to lung cancer subtypes, treatment and survival.
As the study consortium consists of six excellent European institutions with expertise in systems epidemiology, bioinformatics/biostatistics, genomics and cancer biology, we will be able to utilize the latest developments in statistical methods for cross-omics analyses as well as the prospective gene trajectories approach in including clinical relevance. Our findings will not only move the international research front, but also improve public health and reduce the societal costs of cancer diagnosis and treatment.