Screening underway at local hospitals to support the biggest UK lung cancer study 

01/07/2019 00:00 
SUMMIT, the largest ever UK lung cancer screening study, has begun seeing participants at screening units at four north and east London hospitals.

The teams at the four sites - University College Hospital, Mile End, Finchley Memorial, and King George Hospitals - will be screening people who have been identified by their GPs as meeting eligibility requirements. The study aims to improve the early detection of lung cancer when it can be treated more successfully. The study also supports the work on the development of a blood test for the early detection of lung and multiple other cancer types.

The SUMMIT Study is being conducted by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) in close collaboration with UCL (University College London), the National Institute for Health Research UCLH Biomedical Research Centre and GRAIL, Inc. (a US healthcare company focused on the early detection of cancer). The study aims to recruit approximately 50,000 men and women aged 50-77 in total for screening across the area. 

The first phase of the study is focused on screening approximately 25,000 men and women, aged 50-77, who are at a higher risk of lung and other cancers due to their smoking history . Further into the study, another 25,000 people who are low risk for cancer because they have never smoked or smoked less, will be invited to participate in the same screening. All participants will provide a blood sample, which GRAIL will analyse to evaluate whether lung or other cancers can be detected early through signals in the blood. The results will not be returned to GPs or the participants.

“We are pleased that screening is underway and we’re grateful for the cooperation of local GPs who are supporting this important research programme,” says Sam Janes, professor of respiratory medicine at UCL/UCLH and Chief Investigator of the SUMMIT Study. “A study of this size provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change how lung cancer is diagnosed. It could lead to a national screening programme in the UK and play a vital part in the global efforts to develop a blood test for diagnosing cancers.”

Local people are being invited by letter to be screened only if their GP practice is taking part in the study. They will be asked to complete a questionnaire, have a blood test and if eligible, a low dose CT scan of their lungs.

Read more about SUMMIT.

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