A study to develop a blood test for use in breast screening

Cancer type:

Breast cancer





The aim of this study is to develop a blood test that could reduce the number of women called back for tests after routine breast screening. It could also cut down on the number of tests that women need.

In the UK, doctors use mammograms to screen women over 50 for early signs of breast cancer. Many women are asked back (recalled) for further tests. This can cause a lot of anxiety. But most of these women have non cancerous (benign) conditions that do not need further treatment.

Researchers hope that by looking at different blood samples they can develop a new test. This would help decide which women are likely to have a benign condition and which women are likely to have cancer. If successful, this could mean that fewer women need to be recalled in the future. And those that are recalled may not need as many tests.

You will not have any direct benefit from taking part in this study. But the results of the study may help to improve breast screening in the future.

If you are suitable for this study, and are having screening at one of the units involved, you may be invited to take part. You cannot volunteer to take part.

Who can enter

You can enter this trial if you

  • Are a woman aged between 50 and 74 years
  • Have been recalled for further tests after routine breast screening in the Salisbury and Southampton screening programme

You cannot enter this trial if you

Trial design

The researchers will recruit about 600 women who have had breast screening at one of the units taking part in this study. Everyone taking part will have been recalled for further tests. This is a pilot study. If the researchers develop a blood test that could be useful, they will go on to do a larger study involving more people.

Everyone taking part in this trial will give a sample of blood. You will then go on to have the routine tests that you need. This may include having another mammogram, an ultrasound or a biopsy. The researchers will need to know the results of these tests for this study. The only personal information they will keep is the year you were born, so no one can identify you.

The researchers will look at the blood samples using a new technology called ‘proteomics’. They will look for patterns of proteins in the blood samples that might help predict the results of the other routine tests.

Hospital visits

You will not need to go to the hospital for any extra appointments as a result of taking part in this study.

Side effects

You may have some discomfort when the needle is put into your vein to take the blood sample. As with any blood test, there may be some mild bruising around the site, but this will clear after a week or two.



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

Mr Ramsey Cutress

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
University of Southampton

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.

Deborah wanted to help other breast cancer patients in the future

A picture of Deborah

“Deborah agreed to take part in a trial as she was keen to help other cancer patients in the future. "If taking part in a trial means others might be helped then I’m very happy with that."

Last reviewed:

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