Validation of Lung EpiCheck®, a novel methylation-based blood assay, for the detection of lung cancer in European and Chinese high-risk individuals.

Lung cancer screening reduces mortality. We aim to validate the performance of Lung EpiCheck®, a 6-marker panel methylation-based plasma test, in the detection of lung cancer in European and Chinese samples.A case-control European training set (102 lung cancer cases/265 controls) was used to define the panel and algorithm. Two cut-offs were selected, low cut-off (LCO) for high sensitivity and high cut-off (HCO) for high specificity. The performance was validated in case-control European and Chinese validation sets (cases/controls: 179/137 and 30/15).The European and Chinese validation sets achieved AUCs of 0.882 and 0.899, respectively. The respective sensitivity/specificity with LCO were 87.2%/64.2% and 76.7%/93.3% and with HCO were 74.3%/90.5% and 56.7%/100.0%, respectively. Stage I NSCLC sensitivity in European and Chinese samples with LCO was 78.4% and 70.0% and with HCO was 62.2% and 30.0%, respectively. SCLC was represented only in the European set and sensitivities with LCO and HCO were 100.0% and 93.3%. In multivariable analyses of the European validation set, the assay's ability to predict lung cancer was independent of established risk factors (age, smoking, COPD), and overall AUC was 0.942.Lung EpiCheck demonstrated strong performance in lung cancer prediction in case-control European and Chinese samples, detecting high proportions of early stage NSCLC and SCLC and significantly improving predictive accuracy when added to established risk factors. Prospective studies are required to confirm these findings. Utilising such a simple and inexpensive blood test has the potential to improve compliance and broaden access to screening for at-risk populations.

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