Background: Mortality due to lung cancer is one of the growing concerns worldwide. Accurate and timely diagnosis is the key to treatment of this disease. Neutrophil gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL) and vitamin D have been found to be associated with cancer and may have potential to act as biomarkers for lung cancer.
Methods: Serum levels of NGAL and 25 hydroxy vitamin D (25OH vitamin D) were estimated in 25 patients with lung cancer before (Group I) and 4 weeks after standard treatment (Group II) by chemoradiation. The levels were also analyzed in 25 apparently healthy controls and data was compared among different groups using appropriate statistical analysis. NGAL was estimated by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and 25OH vitamin D by radioimmunoassay (RIA) in the serum samples.
Results: Serum NGAL levels were found to be increased significantly in patients before treatment as compared to healthy controls (p < 0.001) while the levels decreased significantly after treatment (p < 0.01). The levels of vitamin D were found to be decreased in lung cancer patients as compared to healthy controls (p < 0.05) while after treatment the levels of vitamin D were found to be significantly increased (p < 0.001). The correlation was not statistically significant between the levels of vitamin D and NGAL in Group I (r = 0.12, p = 0.57), Group IIa (r = 0.037, p = 0.86), and Group IIb (r = 0.091, p = 0.66).
Conclusions: Serum NGAL and vitamin D bear the potential to act as biomarkers in patients with lung cancer.