A research collaboration investigating integrated diagnostics for the early detection of lung cancer with the aim of increasing survival rates, alongside improving the efficiency of testing in people at high risk of cancer in the NHS, is underway.
The program’s goal is to streamline the process of detecting cancers and reduce the NHS resources that are needed in order to find each new case.
The iDx-LUNG project will be led by the University of Southampton, in conjunction with the University of Leeds, and will bring together the diagnostic and informatics capabilities of the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Oncimmune, BC Platforms, Inivata and others in conjunction with NHS England. It is part of the UK Government’s Early Diagnosis Mission to diagnose three-quarters of cancers at an early stage by 2028 and has received funding totalling £10 million.
15,000 participants who have attended NHS England lung health checks at mobile computed tomographic (CT) scanners in Hampshire and Yorkshire will be asked to give blood samples and nasal swabs for testing. The samples will be analysed for changes that could indicate early cancer development. As part of this, Inivata’s InVision liquid biospy platform will be used to analyse blood samples provided by individuals with inconclusive CT scan results to detect mutations of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) in their plasma.
Clive Morris, CEO of Inivata, said: “This exciting collaborative project has the potential to transform lung cancer care in the NHS by building an optimised pathway from population-based screening to effective diagnosis. The selection of Inivata to provide the ctDNA test for the program highlights the capabilities of our InVision liquid biopsy platform. It also brings the opportunity to build further validation of our technology in early detection, alongside its current commercial application in enabling clinicians to make more informed treatment decisions for advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients. We look forward to working closely with the consortium to maximise the potential benefits for lung cancer patients.”
Peter Johnson, professor of medical oncology at the University of Southampton, added: “We urgently need to find ways to detect lung cancer early, to drive up people’s chances of a cure. This unique collaborative effort between universities, the NHS and companies with ground-breaking technologies is aimed at doing just that.”