UK to carry out mass lung cancer screening trial in London

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LONDON, United Kingdom


The United Kingdom will start the largest lung cancer screening trial next year involving 50,000 people making it the first of its kind.

The program is designed to show if an early diagnosis programme could be “achievable and affordable”

According to NHS, the country offers its nationals free screening services for breast, bowel and cervical cancer, but not lung cancer which is the country’s number one cancer killer.

The study by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and UCL will bring together healthcare organisations across north and east London to try to improve early cancer diagnosis, outcomes and care for patients.

According to Sam Janes, a professor of respiratory medicine at UCLH and Chief Investigator on the Study it is a huge screening study, the biggest in Europe, looking at whether CT scanning works and more importantly how they can deliver it to a very large population in a city, really defining how the NHS will do this in the future.

“Currently there is no national screening programme for lung cancer but what we hope to do is demonstrate that it’s achievable and affordable within the National Health Service.” She said.

In the UK, 35,000 people die of Lung Cancer related causes. Around 75% of patients are diagnosed at the latest stage [stages 3 and 4] when treatment isn’t very effective.

However, NHS, urges that when diagnosed early [stages 1 and 2], 70% of Lung cancer patients survive for at least a year.

One lucky patient who was diagnosed at an early stage said that he didn’t realize that he had lung cancer symptoms because it was a smoker’s cough. However, doctors discovered that it was a tiny cancerous nodule which he had removed – crucially it was early enough to stop it spreading.

He said that he would strongly recommend people to go for early screenings.

The study will provide evidence to inform a potential national lung cancer screening programme and also support the development of a new blood test for the early detection of multiple cancer types.