Worldwide, lung cancer is the most common cancer in men and the third most in women, with two million cases diagnosed in 2018. About 90 percent of cases are the result of smoking in men, and 80 percent in women. There are two main forms: Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) representing almost 90% of cases, and small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC), which usually grows and spreads faster. Several factors can be found at high levels in patient serum, including CEA, NSE, CYFRA21-1, SCC, ProGRP, and CA 125 (1), but their value for monitoring clinical course remains under study.
NSE is a 78 kDa gamma-homodimer expressed as a dominant enolase-isoenzyme in neuronal and neuroendocrine tissues. Elevated levels of serum NSE are often associated with neuronal disorders and neural crest-derived tumors. Up to 70 percent of patients with small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) have high levels of serum NSE, as SCLC cells can express neuronal gene programs (2). GeneTex’s NSE antibody (GTX101553) is a well-cited polyclonal antibody that recognizes NSE in brain tissue sections and demonstrates a typical membrane distribution in a human lung cancer cell line xenograft (Figure 1).
Figure 1. GeneTex’s NSE antibody (GTX101553) detects NSE protein by immunohistochemistry in a rat brain tissue section (left) and in a human lung cancer cell xenograft section (right).
Table: Markers associated with lung cancer