Lung cancer screening project: SUMMIT study 

17/12/2018 00:00 

UCLH and UCL have embarked upon the largest ever lung cancer screening project in the UK.

The SUMMIT Study, which will begin in early 2019, has two aims: to detect lung cancer early among at-risk Londoners when the chance of successful treatment and survival from Britain’s biggest cancer killer is greatest; and to support the development of a new blood test for the early detection of multiple cancer types, including lung cancer. In addition, the study will provide evidence to inform a potential national lung cancer screening programme – currently in England, people are offered screening for breast, bowel and cervical cancer, but not lung cancer.

The study is a key work programme of the UCLH Cancer Collaborative, which brings together healthcare organisations across north and east London, to improve early cancer diagnosis, outcomes and care for patients.

The SUMMIT Study will be delivered by UCLH in close collaboration with UCL and GRAIL, Inc. (a US healthcare company focused on the early detection of cancer). The study aims to recruit approximately 50,000 men and women aged 50-77 from north and east London. Half of the participants will be people at high risk of lung and other cancers due to a significant smoking history (Group A), and the other half will be people who are not at high risk for cancer based on smoking history (Group B). All participants will provide a blood sample, which GRAIL will analyse to evaluate whether lung or other cancers can be detected early through genomic signals in the blood.

Participants in Group A will be identified by inviting residents of north and east London who may meet the eligibility criteria based on their smoking history for a lung health check. In addition to providing a blood sample, participants who are eligible and decide to join Group A will be screened for lung cancer using a low dose CT scan (imaging technology proven to detect lung cancer). The SUMMIT Study will also offer smoking cessation support to smokers who would like to stop.

People in Group B will be invited via a letter from their general practitioner (GP) and, if eligible and interested in participating, will attend a study site in order to consent to join the study, donate a blood sample and fill out a questionnaire.

Why should your practice take part?
Eligible patients from your practice with significant smoking histories will be offered a free Lung Health Check, including spirometry, a respiratory health assessment and smoking cessation referral if appropriate. If they consent to take part in the SUMMIT Study they will also be offered a low dose CT (LDCT) scan – a method which has been demonstrated to be highly effective at identifying early lung cancer and is currently offered as standard of care for at-risk individuals in the US and Canada.

Patients who do not have a significant smoking history, and are not eligible to have an LDCT scan, will be able to take part in the development of an early cancer detection test by donating blood samples, which will help future generations of people and doctors find lung and other cancers earlier, when they can be more successfully treated.

How can your practice take part?
The SUMMIT Study team is working with NOCLOR (research support service) to invite all practices in north and east London to participate in the study. NOCLOR will write to your practice shortly to provide further information on joining the study and how your patients will be invited to take part. The SUMMIT study has been designed to involve practices without disrupting your normal routine or adding to your workload. For further information, visit the study website –


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