Intended for healthcare professionals


Screening trial of blood test for lung cancer is set to start in Scotland

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 26 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2312
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

A major screening trial is to be conducted among high risk smokers in Scotland to find out if a simple blood test can help to detect lung cancer at an early stage.

The test was developed at the University of Nottingham and has been used in the United States for the past two years. It works by identifying antibodies produced by the immune system when lung cancer is present. This might pick up cancer many years before symptoms appear.

Ten thousand people who have smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 20 years will be entered into the trial with half being screened and the remainder getting standard care. The …

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