Date: 07 December 2018
The largest ever lung cancer screening project in the UK has launched to detect lung cancer early among at-risk Londoners.
The SUMMIT Study, which is supported by NIHR University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, also aims to support the development of a new blood test for the early detection of multiple cancer types, including lung cancer.
Lung cancer causes around 35,000 deaths per year in the UK. Early diagnosis is key to effective treatment and increasing survival for all cancers, but only 25% of people with lung cancer are diagnosed at the earlier stages 1 and 2. If diagnosed at the earliest stage, 70% of lung cancer patients will survive for at least a year, compared to around 14% for people diagnosed with the most advanced stage of the disease.
Currently in England, people are offered screening for breast, bowel and cervical cancer, but not lung cancer.
The SUMMIT study aims to recruit approximately 50,000 men and women aged 50-77 from north and east London. Half of the participants will be people at high risk of lung and other cancers due to a significant smoking history, and the other half will be people who are not at high risk for cancer based on smoking history.
All participants will provide a blood sample, which industry partner GRAIL will analyse to evaluate whether lung or other cancers can be detected early through genomic signals in the blood. Participants at high risk of lung cancer will also be screened using a low dose CT scan.
Prof Sam Janes, professor of respiratory medicine at UCL/UCLH and Chief Investigator of the SUMMIT Study, said:
“Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the UK because most people only experience symptoms when the cancer is at an advanced stage when it is very difficult to treat. This large-scale study gives us a unique opportunity to detect lung cancer much earlier when treatment is more likely to be successful amongst those proven to be most at risk – people who smoke or used to smoke, aged between 50 and 77.
“We have a common goal with our partner GRAIL with the SUMMIT Study – the early detection of cancer. By working together, we hope to bring lung cancer screening to people in the United Kingdom, while we also deepen our understanding of potential new technologies for early cancer detection.”
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