A trial looking at 2 new tests to diagnose a fungal infection

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

Cancer type:

Acute leukaemia
Blood cancers





This trial is looking at 2 tests to see if they can help doctors diagnose aspergillosis, a fungal infection.

Aspergillosis is a lung infection caused by aspergillus, a type of fungus. People who have a low white blood cell count after intensive chemotherapy or a stem cell transplant are at higher risk of infections, including aspergillosis. Aspergillosis can be difficult and expensive to treat, and the treatments available have serious side effects.

To diagnose aspergillosis for sure, doctors currently need to take some tissue or fluid from the lung during a bronchoscopy. This is invasive and has risks, especially in very unwell patients. Because of this, some high risk patients have treatment for aspergillosis without having a test to diagnose it, just in case they have the infection. But they may not need this treatment, so some people go through side effects for no reason.

The research team want to find out if 2 new tests can diagnose aspergillosis more quickly and easily. One is a blood sample that can be tested for parts of fungal cells that are released during an infection. The other is a breathing test that collects moisture from the lungs as you breathe out. This is called exhaled breath condensate (EBC). The moisture they collect is then tested for signs of fungal infection.

The aims of this trial are to find out

  • How good the new blood test is at diagnosing aspergillosis
  • How good the EBC test is at diagnosing aspergillosis
  • If diagnosing aspergillosis with these new tests means that only the people who need it will have treatment

Who can enter

This trial was recruiting people with cancer, but that part of the trial has now closed.

You can still enter this trial if you don't have cancer and be part of the 'control group'. If you have been having breathing problems you may be due to have a bronchscopy to find out more about what's causing the problems. If you do not need tests you can still take part, you would be what the researchers call a 'healthy volunteer'.

Trial design

This trial will recruit between 150 and 200 people, including those who don't have cancer. Everyone taking part will have both new tests. Some people who have cancer will take part more than once, because you can join the trial again after each cycle of chemotherapy.

People having treatment for cancer

You have the blood test twice a week if you are an in patient, or once a week if you are an outpatient, for up to 8 weeks. You will have frequent blood tests as part of your routine care, so they just need to take a small amount of extra blood for the new test.

At the same time, you will do the exhaled breath condensate (EBC) test once a week for 5 weeks. For this test you need to breath out through a cold tube for 15 to 20 minutes. The cold tube makes the moisture in your breath condense so the research team can collect and test it.

If you develop a fever at any stage during the trial, you will have more tests to look for an infection. This may include blood tests, a chest X-ray, CT scan or taking a sample of fluid and cells during a bronchoscopy (a bronchial lavage). If you have an infection you will have appropriate treatment as usual.

People who don't have cancer

You have one blood test and exhaled breath condensate (EBC) test. If you are need to have a bronchoscopy, the doctors will take a sample of fluid and cells as well.

Hospital visits

You will have a physical examination, blood tests and EBC as part of this trial. But these are all done during routine hospital visits or while you are having other tests. You won’t need to make any extra trips to the hospital as a result of taking part in this trial.

If you are having treatment for cancer, you will see the trial doctors once a week for 8 weeks, or less if your white blood cell count goes back up to normal range sooner. After that you will continue to see your own doctor. If you are taking part but don't have cancer, you will continue to see your own doctor as normal.

Side effects

As there are no treatments as part of this trial, there are no side effects.

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 S Agrawal

Supported by

Barts Health NHS Trust
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 869

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

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

Last reviewed:

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