Lung cancer is the most often diagnosed cancer in the world and the most frequent cause of cancer death. The prognosis for lung cancer is relatively poor and 75% of patients are diagnosed at its advanced stage. The currently used diagnostic tools are not sensitive enough and do not enable diagnosis at the early stage of the disease. Therefore, searching for new methods of early and accurate diagnosis of lung cancer is crucial for its effective treatment. Lung cancer is the result of multistage carcinogenesis with gradually increasing genetic and epigenetic changes. Screening for the characteristic genetic markers could enable the diagnosis of lung cancer at its early stage. The aim of this review was the summarization of both the preclinical and clinical approaches in the genetic diagnostics of lung cancer. The advancement of molecular strategies and analytic platforms makes it possible to analyze the genome changes leading to cancer development—i.e., the potential biomarkers of lung cancer. In the reviewed studies, the diagnostic values of microsatellite changes, DNA hypermethylation, and p53
gene mutations, as well as microRNAs expression, have been analyzed as potential genetic markers. It seems that microRNAs and their expression profiles have the greatest diagnostic potential value in lung cancer diagnosis, but their quantification requires standardization.
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