Researcher chairs international Task Force group on Lung Cancer

Professor John Field

Researchers at the University of Liverpool have attended the World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) in Amsterdam to discuss the future of UK screening programmes for the disease.

Professor John Field, from the University’s Cancer Research Centre, chaired the Task Force group for the International Association Study Lung Cancer (IASLC), to discuss the implications of results from a lung cancer trial in the US and whether it could be replicated in the UK.

They found that a number of issues needed to be resolved before a national UK screening programme could be implemented, such as identifying those that would benefit most from screening and the cost effectiveness of the programme.

Professor Field has recently launched the pilot UK Lung Screening (UKLS) trial, which aims to assess if the expertise and technology at cancer centres could efficiently support a large-scale screening programme, like systems already in place for breast cancer detection.

Lung cancer is the commonest cause of death from cancer across the world and is responsible for over 33,500 deaths per year in the UK.  Researchers are investigating whether Computed Tomography (CT) screening offers the potential to identify the disease in its early stages to maximise the success of treatment.

Professor Field said: “CT lung cancer screening is one of the most important developments in lung cancer care and could potentially change the management of the disease in years ahead.  There remain, however, important questions about the applicability of the results from the US trial to the UK, and the clinical effectiveness of this intervention, including its feasibility and cost effectiveness.”

During the conference Professor Field was awarded the Joseph W Cullen Award from the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).  He was presented with the award for lifetime scientific achievement in prevention research of thoracic malignancies.

Research findings, discussed at the conference, are published in the journal THORAX.

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