3 April 2019
Leeds has launched a new study to improve the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.
The new study, supported as part of a further £1.7 million funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research, tests blood samples taken from people undergoing the lung health checks. It investigates whether their samples can be used to more accurately determine who should have a lung scan, to detect lung cancer earlier and to improve the performance of the lung scans. By improving the effectiveness of lung screening programmes, this could save more lives.
A total of 7,000 people are expected to take part in the Leeds Lung Health Check during the next four years. The Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health, part of Leeds Academic Health Partnership, anticipates that more than 5,000 of those people will agree to take part in the blood sample study.
The Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health is working with the University of Leeds, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, NIHR Leeds In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative and the University of Manchester on the new study.
Dr Mike Messenger, Head of the Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health, said: “This is another excellent opportunity to understand how we can personalise healthcare. By looking in detail at each person’s blood sample, we will be able to speed up diagnosis and identify more closely exactly what the best care for them might be.
“We’re also hoping it will provide the evidence for an even more targeted, efficient approach in future, showing us who would most benefit from lung screening.”
Around 4,300 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year in Yorkshire. More than half of lung cancer patients in Yorkshire are diagnosed once their cancer is already very advanced, limiting treatment options and decreasing the chance of survival. Lung cancer has the highest mortality rate of all cancers in the UK.
Yorkshire Cancer Research is investing at least £100 million to save 2,000 lives in Yorkshire every year by 2025. A key part of this is a £7.8 million investment in a programme to target lung cancer in Leeds – the largest single investment funded by the charity, and the third largest study of its kind in the world.
The Leeds Lung Health Check, developed in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Leeds and Leeds City Council, launched November 2018. It is taking place in a mobile screening unit that moves to different locations in Leeds to make it easier for people to take part.
Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We want to ensure that people with cancer in Yorkshire have the best possible experience, from diagnosis to recovery.
“This means improving their opportunity to be diagnosed at the earliest possible stage; ensuring they receive the best treatment for their cancer and providing innovative support programmes so they can be prepared for and recover well from treatment.
“It also means increasing access to cutting-edge treatments and ensuring Yorkshire remains at the forefront of world-class research. This can only be achieved by continuing to invest locally, thanks to the generosity of communities throughout the region, in projects that will help cancer patients on our doorstep.”