A study looking for proteins that may help diagnose lung cancer (CLUB trial extension)

Cancer type:

Lung cancer





This study is looking for proteins in blood, urine and tissue samples to see if any are linked to lung cancer and could be useful in developing a simple blood or urine test to find cancer. It is following on from the CLUB trial, but is only recruiting people with lung cancer.

The earlier a cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chance of the treatment working well. Doctors in this study want to try to improve how early lung cancer is found, as it is often discovered when the disease is quite advanced and can’t be removed with surgery.

If your doctor thinks you may have lung cancer, you will have tests such as chest X-rays, MRI, PET and CT scans, and a procedure that uses a small camera to look down your airways (a bronchoscopy).  You then have a biopsy to see whether or not the growth is cancerous. Although important, these tests can be expensive, time consuming for hospitals and the patients and uncomfortable.

Doctors in this study would like to one day develop a simple blood or urine test to help diagnose lung cancer. In this study, they will look for proteins (biomarkers Open a glossary item) that they can link to the disease, in blood, urine and tissue from patients having surgery for suspected lung cancer. They hope that one day a blood or urine test showing up such biomarkers would help doctors diagnose lung cancer more easily, and spot it earlier if it comes back after treatment.

You will not have any direct benefit from taking part in this study, and it is unlikely to change your treatment in any way. But the results of the study will be used to help people with lung cancer in the future.

Who can enter

You may be able to enter this study if you

  • Have a mass or lump in your lung that doctors think might be cancer
  • Are having surgery at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital to remove this
  • Are at least 18 years old

You cannot enter this study if you have

  • Had any other cancer, apart from basal cell skin cancer that was successfully treated
  • Any other condition that would make you unwell if you took part, or affect the results of the study – you can ask your doctor about this

Trial design

This pilot study will recruit 300 people. You give samples of blood and urine before and after surgery, and regularly when you come to hospital for your follow up appointments.

The team will also collect samples of lung tissue removed during any surgery you have, and from any samples that have been stored by the hospital in the past. They will also collect information about your condition from your medical notes for up to 5 years after any surgery.

If it turns out you do not have lung cancer, the team would still like to collect information from your medical notes, and any samples taken. They will compare what they find against findings from those who do have lung cancer.

Hospital visits

Before you join the study you will see the doctor and have some tests. These tests include

  • Physical examination
  • Lung function tests
  • Blood tests
  • CT scan of your chest and upper tummy (abdomen)
  • Any other scan your doctor thinks you may need

You give your samples when you are already at the hospital for a planned appointment.

Side effects

You may have a small bruise where you gave your blood samples.



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

Professor Nicholas James

Supported by

Cancer Research UK Institute for Cancer Studies
University of Birmingham

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:


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

Over 60,000 cancer patients enrolled on clinical trials in the UK last year.

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

No votes yet
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page