Early results from the largest ever randomised trial for lung cancer have provided new evidence of the value of employer-led testing to both save lives and reduce healthcare costs.
The initial results from a study by NHS Scotland ECLS of 10,000 high-risk smokers demonstrate a higher than expected cancer detection rate (sensitivity) of 81 percent, with a specificity (the chance that a negative test excludes lung cancer) of 91 percent.
The data is based on the EarlyCDT-Lung blood test developed by Nottingham firm OncImmune that detects autoantibody biomarkers. The research findings are to be officially released on September 7 at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer’s annual global conference on lung cancer, their sixteenth.
The EarlyCDT-Lung blood test has been used by a number of UK employers since early 2013 through the Check4Cancer screening services.
Professor Gordon Wishart, Medical Director of Check4Cancer, said: “In May 2013, Check4Cancer ran an extremely successful Love Your Lungs lung cancer awareness and early detection programme for Hewlett Packard, with engagement of more than 2,500 employees in the UK and Ireland. We look forward to continuing to work closely with OncImmune to deliver the EarlyCDT-Lung test to our clients.”
Troels Jordansen, Managing Director of Check4Cancer, said: “We have been aware of the potential of the EarlyCDT-Lung test for the past three years and we are delighted to include it as part of LungCheck, our early detection programme for lung cancer in the UK. We believe that these early results represent a significant advance in the early detection of lung cancer, and hope that further results from this trial will encourage those people with a high risk of developing lung cancer, such as smokers and those with a family history, that early detection of this disease is now possible.”
Geoffrey Hamilton-Fairley, CEO of OncImmune Limited, said: “If these results continue, it will further underpin the rationale of the ECLS study – namely that screening with EarlyCDT-Lung can be effective for the early detection of lung cancer, helping to save lives and money. We look forward to ECLS reporting updates on an on-going basis.”
The ECLS study will continue in 2016, growing to include 12,000 patients, with final results being available after two years’ follow up.