A simple blood test which detects the early stages of lung cancer in high risk patients — as much as five years before a tumour would normally present — is already improving prognosis for patients in the USA, according to Oncimmune, The University of Nottingham spin out company which launched EarlyCDT-Lung™ in the USA this summer.
Now the prestigious Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI), which is currently running a five year pan-Canadian study into the early detection of lung cancer, is to work with The University of Nottingham’s Centre of Excellence for Autoimmunity in Cancer (CEAC) to help validate the test even further.
Together the TFRI and CEAC will study the benefits of using the test to screen smokers at high risk of lung cancer. They will compare it with the institute’s lung cancer risk prediction tool and assess the incremental benefits of both tests. Researchers at TFRI will further determine the efficacy of blood test in differentiating between benign and malignant lung nodules detected by CT scans.
Oncimmune LTD was founded in 2003 to commercialise the technology developed in the laboratories of John Robertson, a world renowned breast cancer specialist and Professor of Surgery in The University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. The spin-out company successfully transferred this science into a reproducible commercial test — EarlyCDT-Lung™ — which was launched in the USA this summer and is due to be commercially available in the UK next year.
With Professor Robertson as the Director of Research, The University of Nottingham has established a Centre of Excellence for Autoimmunity in Cancer (CEAC). The new centre fosters collaborative research to: speed up the delivery of an autoantibody blood test for different types of cancer for clinical use; encourage other research in the area of autoimmunity in cancer; and continue the search for support technologies that have the potential to enhance the medical prognosis following a positive test result.
CEAC has collaborations with other international cancer centres to assess EarlyCDT-Lung as well as a research programme studying autoimmunity in solid tumours such as breast, liver and oesophago-gastric cancer.
Professor Robertson said: “CEAC is delighted to be able to collaborate with the prestigious Terry Fox Research Institute in this further evaluation of the EarlyCDT-Lung assay. Results from the use of this test in the United States, demonstrates that it is performing as expected. The earliest stages of lung cancer are being detected, greatly improving prognosis for patients who would have otherwise had their cancer detected at later stages.”
Lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney and melanoma cancers combined. Symptoms are often generic in nature — such as coughing, minor back or shoulder pain and shortness of breath. As a result, lung cancer is often diagnosed in later stages and worldwide over 90 per cent of patients diagnosed with lung cancer die of the disease.
CEAC will test multiple sequential blood samples of the 2,500 participants currently enrolled in the TFRI’s Pan-Canadian Early Lung Cancer Detection Study. CEAC and TFRI will analyse the results.
More information on EarlyCDT-Lung can be found at: http://www.oncimmune.com/
The University of Nottingham has a broad research portfolio but has also identified and badged 13 research priority groups, in which a concentration of expertise, collaboration and resources create significant critical mass. Key research areas at Nottingham include energy, drug discovery, global food security, biomedical imaging, advanced manufacturing, integrating global society, operations in a digital world, and science, technology & society.
Through these groups, Nottingham researchers will continue to make a major impact on global challenges.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as “the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.
The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.
The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.
More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news
University facts and figures at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/about/facts/factsandfigures.aspx
About TFRI — Launched in October 2007, The Terry Fox Research Institute is the brainchild of The Terry Fox Foundation. TFRI seeks to improve significantly the outcomes of cancer research for the patient through a highly collaborative, team-oriented, milestone-based approach to research that will enable discoveries to translate quickly into practical solutions for cancer patients worldwide. TFRI collaborates with over 40 cancer hospitals and research organizations across Canada. TFRI headquarters are in Vancouver, BC. www.tfri.ca