A non-invasive diagnostic test to identify individuals with increased risk of lung cancer.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers and considered to be the leading cause of cancer deaths in the western world, accounting for nearly 30% of all cancer deaths. The high mortality rate is related to the low cure rate, which in turn is related to the lack of adequate screening and early detection measures. Despite the numerous studies and primary prevention efforts pointing at smoking as the major cause of lung cancer, still over one third of the adult population smokes cigarettes and will not quit this habit. One way to increase success of smoking cessation programs would be to identify individuals at high risk for developing lung cancer. The outlined technology is a simple blood test termed the OGG Activity Assay or OGGA that monitors the activity of OGG1, a DNA-repair enzyme. Poor DNA-repair capacity by OGG1 is highly correlated with increased susceptibility of developing lung cancer.
• The OGGA test represents a rapid, reliable and high-throughput cancer diagnostics platform for early detection of individuals at high risk of developing lung cancer.
• The OGGA test may potentially be used to predict the outcome of cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
• The OGGA test may also be applied to other forms of cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
• A simple, cost-effective diagnostic tool to predict lung cancer risk.
• The test enables the integration of multiple factors that are known to affect DNA-repair enzymes expression and activity, in contrast to polymorphism-based assays.
• Smokers who are diagnosed with low OGG1 activity can be advised to enter smoking cessation programs, as a way to reduce cancer risk. Such an approach based on personal susceptibility is expected to be more effective than a general warning on the hazards of smoking, as has been seen in the case of personal risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (e.g., personal cholesterol levels).
Reduced DNA-repair capacity plays an important role in sporadic cancer. The OGG test measures the activity of a specific DNA repair enzyme, called OGG1 (8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1) which plays a pivotal role in alleviating DNA damage caused by toxic molecules such as oxygen radicals, or radiation. The test provides a number, OGG Activity Index (OGGA Index), which varies among individuals. Among lung cancer sufferers, 40% showed low OGG1 activity compared to only 4% of the general population. Smokers with low OGG1 function were up to 10 times more likely to have lung cancer than those whose enzyme worked normally and 120 times more likely than nonsmokers with normal enzyme activity.