Advances in molecular biology and bioinformatics have resulted in the identification of a number of potential biomarkers that could be relevant in the management of patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although there is an increasing amount of literature related to these biomarkers, major issues need to be resolved including validity and reproducibility of results. Additionally, in order to interpret the existing literature accurately, a clear distinction must be made between the prognostic and predictive value of biomarkers. The practical applicability of biomarker discovery for patients with lung cancer includes the identification of patients with early-stage NSCLC who are most likely to benefit from adjuvant therapy. Information gleaned from biomarkers has the potential to help in evaluating the role of targeted therapies including immunotherapy in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant setting. The role of gene signatures and the use of newer platforms such as RNA, methylation, and protein signatures is being explored in patients with early-stage NSCLC. This review focuses on the applications of biomarker discovery in patients with early-stage NSCLC.
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© 2014 by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.