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Detection of Melanoma Antigen-A Expression in Sputum and Bronchial Lavage Fluid of Patients With Lung Cancer*

Ingo Mecklenburg, MD; Diana F. Stratakis, MD; Rudolf M. Huber, MD, FCCP; Karl Häussinger, MD; Alicia Morresi-Hauf, MD; Gert Riethmüller, MD; Peter Kufer, MD
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*From the Institute of Immunology (Drs. Mecklenburg, Riethmüller, and Kufer), Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich; Department of Pneumology (Drs. Stratakis and Huber), Medizinische Klinik Innenstadt, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich; and Departments of Pneumology (Dr. Häussinger) and Pathology (Dr. Morresi-Hauf), Asklepios Fachkliniken München-Gauting, Munich, Germany.

Correspondence to: Ingo Mecklenburg, Institute of Immunology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Goethestrasse 31, 80336 Munich, Germany; e-mail: ingo.mecklenburg@ifi.med.uni-muenchen.de



Chest. 2004;125(5_suppl):164S-166S. doi:10.1378/chest.125.5_suppl.164S
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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and women in industrialized nations. Several approaches have been evaluated for the early detection of lung cancer, but screening strategies have failed to decrease disease-specific mortality.1 There has been intensive research on molecular abnormalities in lung cancer and a broad evaluation of methods to diagnose early malignant transformations.2 Exfoliated cells shed from the lower respiratory tract can be detected in (induced) sputum or in BAL samples and can be helpful for the detection of central tumors of the larger bronchi. Several molecular biomarkers have been evaluated to detect neoplastic lesions in the lung. However, only a subset of tumors display specific mutations resulting in insufficient sensitivity. More importantly, stage IA tumors only infrequently show molecular abnormalities,3 making the search for new biomarker that detect premalignant lesions inevitable.

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