Lung cancer patients have the highest mortality among patients with solid tumors worldwide and their prognosis is strictly stage-associated. However, only 15–20% of patients are diagnosed in stage I, since these early tumors are frequently asymptomatic. Early detection of lung cancer, which allows effective therapeutic intervention, is a promising approach to lowering its mortality rate. However, conventional diagnostic methods for lung cancer, such as chest X-ray and CT of the chest, produce high costs and potentially false-positive results. Thus, the discovery of highly sensitive, specific, noninvasive, and cost-effective lung cancer biomarkers combined with conventional approaches, such as X-rays, may improve the sensitivity of lung cancer screening. Herein, we summarize the most recent studies about the molecular pathology of lung cancer and discuss the advancements expected in the near future, including the potential biomarkers and liquid biopsy approaches for the detection of lung cancer in populations at risk of developing this disease.
Part of the book: Mass Spectrometry