Eric Grogan, M.D.

Associate Professor of Thoracic Surgery

Nashville TN 37232-4682
(615) 322-0248 (office)

Research Description

A recently recruited member of the Department of Thoracic Surgery, Eric L. Grogan, M.D., M.P.H., has also been awarded the VPSD grant. His grant entitled “Predicting Lung Cancer with a Serum Protein Test” is a translational research project that is using serum proteomics, epidemiology, and imaging techniques to predict lung cancer in patients with pulmonary nodules. “With the increasing use of Computed Tomography (CT scan), we are finding more pulmonary nodules. Most of these nodules are benign, but some are malignant and determining which ones are cancerous is challenging. Currently we use a combination of the patient’s risk factors and imaging to decide which nodules are high risk for cancer and need surgical excision. However, 20 percent of our operations on these suspicious nodules result in a benign diagnosis. This puts our patients at risk and is costly to the medical system.”
“Using a multidisciplinary approach, we have a team of basic scientists, translational scientists pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, epidemiologists, and health economists. We are working together to develop a cost-effective blood test for patients with suspected lung cancer. Dr. Pierre Massion’s laboratory (VICC Spore Grant) has developed a simple blood test that can predict patients who have all stages of lung cancer. Using MALDI – MS techniques, they have identified a seven protein signature that is highly predictive of lung cancer. Together, we are determining the accuracy of this serum proteomic test in patients with lung nodules and are combining this serum proteomic test with the patient’s risk factors and imaging characteristics. A highly specific test will help reduce unnecessary surgery while not missing any cases of lung cancer. We are also evaluating the accuracy of this test in predicting lung cancer recurrence.”

Selected Publications