Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide, because the disease is typically diagnosed in its later stages. Identifying lung cancer at the earliest stages, or better still before cancer develops, could dramatically increase survival.
There are promising results suggesting that we may one day be able to find precancerous cells in the lungs before they become fully cancerous. The technique involves looking at changes in the genes expressed by immune cells that line the lungs. Time will tell if this pans out