New blood test could help reduce lung cancer deaths

Nivolumab helps the patient's own immune system find and destroy cancer cells as they spread

Nivolumab helps the patient's own immune system find and destroy cancer cells as they spread

Amgen said in a Sunday statement that new data from the Phase 1 study of AMG 510 presented as an oral presentation at the IASLC 2019 World Conference on Lung Cancer, or WCLC, showed that out of the 13 of the evaluable patients receiving the target dose of 960mg once daily - the highest dose - seven, or 54%, achieved a partial response at one or more timepoints and six achieved stable disease.

Joseph Carter, head of the British Lung Foundation Scotland, said: "An accurate blood test would be a game-changing moment for lung cancer diagnosis".

The company is also enrolling patients in an early-stage study of AMG510 in combination with Keytruda, Merck & Co's checkpoint inhibitor created to unleash the body's immune system to attack cancer cells.

Over the two-year period of the study, a total of 71 people in the control group were diagnosed with lung cancer, and 56 in the blood test group.

For those who only received a CT scan following the arrival of symptoms - as is standard practice on the NHS - 27 per cent were diagnosed at these stages.

"We are now working in CEAC to bring the next tests for the early detection of breast and gastrointestinal (ie colorectal, pancreatic) cancers to a similar clinical utility as the lung cancer test".

"It was very weird knowing I had lung cancer before it showed in the scans but I'm so grateful I went for the blood test". It was led by the University of Dundee in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, with further work from the Universities of Aberdeen, St Andrews, Nottingham and Toronto, NHS Scotland, Scottish Government, The Canberra Hospital and Oncimmune, the company that developed the new blood test. Tayside Clinical Trials Unit was responsible for trial delivery, data management and analysis.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of early diagnosis, said: "We hope that one day this could help doctors to know who is at greatest risk from lung cancer much sooner, and give them CT scans".

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All were aged between 50 to 75 years old and lived in deprived communities, and were current or former smokers. The primary endpoint was the difference, at 24 months after randomisation, between the rates of patients with stage III, IV or unclassified lung cancer at diagnosis in the intervention arm and those in the control arm. There are also a number of secondary endpoints, details of which will be provided when the trial is fully reported. It is believed to be worldwide, the largest randomised controlled study of early cancer detection using biomarkers of (lung) cancer measured in the blood.

/Public Release. View in full here.

Scotland has one of the highest rates of lung cancer in the world - 2,592 men and 2,739 women were diagnosed with lung cancer in Scotland in 2017. A quarter of all deaths from cancer in Scotland are attributed to lung cancer. Less than 9% of patients survive more than five year after diagnosis - often because it is spotted too late.

The US National Cancer Institute National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) reported that CT screening reduced lung cancer mortality by 20%.

They were split into two groups, with the first group given X-rays and CT scans only if symptoms emerged. However, as a primary screening modality CT is expensive and leads to a significant percentage of false positives ( 90% of lung nodules are found to be benign).

The EarlyCDT Lung test is a novel autoantibody diagnostic test for the early detection of lung cancer allowing stratification of individuals according to their risk of developing lung cancer. This could permit a targeted approach to CT scanning for early lung cancer detection which may be a more cost-effective and potentially less harmful approach to population screening.

[1]. Early Detection of Cancer of the Lung Scotland (ECLS): Trial results.

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