A study of growth factors in people with cancer and in healthy volunteers

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Bowel (colorectal) cancer
Breast cancer
Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer
Prostate cancer





This study is looking at growth factors called EGF, TGF, VEGF, IGF, PDGF and FGF. These circulate in the bloodstream and can affect how quickly cancers grow.

Chemicals in the body called growth factors make cancers grow more quickly. They are produced by the cancer itself, but they are also found in much lower amounts in people who don’t have cancer. Researchers want to learn more about growth factors, both in healthy people and people who have cancer. This may help them to understand more about the effect growth factors might have on cancer treatment.

In this study they are looking at up to 6 growth factors called EGF, TGF, VEGF, IGF, PDGF and FGF. The researchers want to find out how the levels of these substances vary in healthy people and people with cancer.

Please note - You will not get any direct benefit from joining this study, but the results may help to improve the way cancer is diagnosed and treated in the future.

Who can enter

You can take part in this study if you are at least 18 years old and

You have non small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, or bowel (colorectal) cancer and are having treatment or follow up appointments at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow


A member of the study team asks you take part as a healthy volunteer which means you haven’t had any type of cancer in the last 5 years and you don’t have any other serious medical condition, or take any regular prescription medicine

You cannot enter the study if you

  • Are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Can’t give blood samples for any reason

Trial design

The study will recruit about 450 people who have cancer and about 140 healthy volunteers.

If you agree to take part, a member of the study team will take a small blood sample and ask you some questions about

  • Your health
  • Whether you drink or smoke
  • Any medication you are taking now, or have taken in the past

All the information you give will be confidential Open a glossary item. It will not be possible to identify you in any results from this study.

Hospital visits

If you are attending the cancer centre for treatment or follow up appointments, there will be no extra hospital visits. You will talk to the researcher and give your blood sample during one of your planned appointments.

If you are healthy volunteer, the researcher who asks you to join the trial will arrange for you to have a blood test.

Side effects

You may have a small bruise where you give your blood sample.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Iain MacPherson

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 7556

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Charlie took part in a trial to try new treatments

A picture of Charlie

“I think it’s really important that people keep signing up to these type of trials to push research forward.”

Last reviewed:

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