Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A study of fluorescence bronchoscopy or white light bronchoscopy to screen people at high risk of lung cancer
This study was looking at two different types of bronchoscopy to screen for lung cancer in people who are at high risk of the disease.
Treatment is most successful for lung cancer that is found at an early stage. Unfortunately, most people have advanced disease when they are diagnosed. So doctors are looking at new ways to help find lung cancer earlier in people who are at high risk.
This study compared two different ways of carrying out a bronchoscopy, a test used to diagnose lung cancer. The standard way used white light to look at your airways (
The researchers studied pictures and samples of cells (biopsies) taken during both these tests. They hoped that FB would find early cancers that may not have been seen using a standard bronchoscopy.
Summary of results
The researchers found that fluorescence bronchoscopy showed up changes to cells in the bronchus more often than standard bronchoscopy.
93 people took part in the study. They were all between 40 and 75 years old and had smoked more than 20 cigarettes a day for at least 20 years.
Everybody had a standard bronchoscopy, a fluorescence bronchoscopy (FB), and biopsies taken from their airways
- FB suggested there were changes to cells in the bronchus in 51 people
- Biopsies confirmed that 27 of these people did have cell changes in their airways
- 12 people had changes that were due to
- 15 people had pre-cancerous changes to the cells, which could go on to become lung cancer
The standard bronchoscopies suggested there were changes in only one person. That person’s biopsy showed they didn’t actually have any cell changes. Researchers call this a ‘false positive’
Any type of screening test must be accurate. Researchers call the ability of a test to correctly show up changes ‘sensitivity’. In this study, FB was a lot more sensitive than standard bronchoscopy at picking up changes to the cells in the bronchus that could go on to become lung cancer.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor K. Moghissi
Laser Trust Fund