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New Blood test for early detection of Lung cancer

New Blood test for early detection of Lung cancer

[Pictured: Professor Frank Sullivan]

Lung cancer affects more than 5000 people every year in Scotland and within a year 4000 have died, usually because the diagnosis is made too late for curative treatment.

Now results from the Early detection of Cancer of the Lung Scotland (“ECLS”) trial have shown a combination of blood tests followed by CT scanning can help detect lung cancer earlier, when surgery is still possible. The trial has demonstrated a statistically significant 36% reduction in late stage diagnoses of lung cancer.

Professor Frank Sullivan, SHARE Director and Professor of Primary Care Medicine at the University of St. Andrews, the Chief Investigator for the ECLS trial, said, “I hope that the results of this trial will have globally significant implications for the early detection of lung cancer by showing how a simple blood test, followed by CT scans, is able to increase the number of patients diagnosed at an earlier stage of the disease, when surgery is still possible and prospects for survival much higher.

The ECLS trial is believed to be the largest randomised controlled trial for the detection of lung cancer using blood-based biomarkers. The trial is supported by the University of Dundee, NHS Tayside and co-funded by Oncimmune, the Scottish Chief Scientist Office and the Scottish Government. It involves collaborators at the University of Glasgow, with further work from the Universities of Aberdeen, St Andrews, Nottingham and Toronto, NHS Scotland, Scottish Government, The Canberra Hospital and Oncimmune, the company that developed the new blood test. Tayside Clinical Trials Unit was responsible for trial delivery, data management and analysis.

The research paper is available online from The European Respiratory Journal at: and is to be included in the 2020 print edition.

Information taken from the University of Dundee press release, available here:


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