The biggest ever lung cancer screening trial will take place next year involving 50,000 people.
Screenings for lung cancer are not currently offered in England, but screenings for breast, bowel and cervical cancer are.
This is despite lung cancer being the biggest cancer killer in the UK.
The trial is designed to show whether an early programme would be “achievable and affordable” on the NHS, or not.
'The biggest cancer killer'
The study by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and University College London (UCL) will aim to improve early cancer diagnosis and care for patients; by bringing together healthcare organisations from across north and east London.
Prof Sam Janes, the Chief Investigator of the study, has said this is a “unique opportunity” to detect lung cancer early.
“Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the UK because most people only experience symptoms when the cancer is at an advanced stage when it is very difficult to treat,” he said.
“This large-scale study gives us a unique opportunity to detect lung cancer much earlier when treatment is more likely to be successful amongst those proven to be most at risk – people who smoke or used to smoke, aged between 50 and 77.
“We have a common goal with our partner GRAIL [an organisation dedicated to detecting cancer early] with the SUMMIT Study [a study on whether a blood test can detect multiple types of cancer] – the early detection of cancer. By working together, we hope to bring lung cancer screening to people in the United Kingdom, while we also deepen our understanding of potential new technologies for early cancer detection.”