Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Margot Hall

Advisor Department

Medical Laboratory Science


There were 224,210 new cases of lung cancer in the US during 2014, and of those cases, there 159,260 that died from lung cancer during 2014. Since early diagnosis and treatment leads to a better prognosis, the medical community is actively looking for new, noninvasive tests for the disease. This includes the search for new and effective tumor markers. Tumor markers are used in combination with other tests to diagnose cancer. After the diagnosis, they are used to follow a patient’s case. The three tumor markers studied were neuron specific enolase (NSE), carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and CYFRA 21-1. In this study, the normal reference intervals were developed using sera from healthy donors. The analytical properties of the tumor marker assays were tested for and found to be satisfactory. The study was designed to compare the diagnostic and predictive values for the three tumor markers. Preliminary results on 638 patients (76 lung cancer patients, 562 healthy patients) included: (1) diagnostic % sensitivity (CEA 22.37%, NSE 0%, CYFRA 21-1 18.92%), (2) diagnostic % specificity (CEA 80.43%, NSE 99.39%, CYFRA 21-1 93.16%), (3) %PV+ (CEA 13.39%, NSE 4.17%, CYFRA 21-1 28.00%), (4) %PV- (CEA 88.45%, NSE 87.12%, CYFRA 21-1 89.09%), (5) %efficiency (CEA 73.51, NSE 86.65%, CYFRA 21-1 84.00%). It was hypothesized that CYFRA 21-1 would be superior to CEA and NSE for the sero-diagnosis of lung cancer in a cohort of patients, and the hypothesis was rejected. CYFRA 21-1 was not superior to CEA and NSE in the sero-diagnosis of lung cancer.

Included in

Diagnosis Commons