A study to understand more about tissue damage and treatment resistance in people having radiotherapy for lung cancer (RADAR)

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer
Small cell lung cancer





This study looked at blood samples and scans of people who had radiotherapy for lung cancer.

After having radiotherapy for lung cancer you usually have a number of CT scans. By measuring changes in the size and shape of the cancer in these scans, your doctor may be able to tell how well the treatment has worked.

Researchers wanted to develop better tests to predict how well radiotherapy might work. And to find out who is more likely to have side effects.

They looked at genes Open a glossary item and proteins (called biomarkers Open a glossary item) in the blood and cancer tissue of people who had radiotherapy for lung cancer. They also used PET-CT scans to look at how radiotherapy affected the healthy and lung cancer tissue.

The main aims of this study were to develop better tests to:

  • work out in advance who would benefit from having radiotherapy
  • see who is at greatest risk of side effects 

The study was open for people to join between 2010 and 2012. The team published the results in 2018.

Summary of results

This was a pilot study Open a glossary item. The team took blood samples:

  • before radiotherapy and 
  • at day 21 during radiotherapy 

The team looked at blood samples from 78 people. 

They identified 3 biomarkers that might be used to tell how well radiotherapy might work. They found:

  • 2 in the blood samples taken before treatment
  • 1 in the blood samples taken at day 21 during treatment

The team looked for blood biomarkers that they could use to predict how severe 2 side effects of radiotherapy to the chest might be. These side effects are inflammation of the lung and inflammation of the food pipe (oesophagus). They identified 1 biomarker in the blood samples taken before treatment started. This biomarker helped to predict who might have inflammation of the oesophagus.

When the team looked at the PET-CT scans they wanted to see if there was a link between the biomarkers in the blood samples and what they saw on the scan. Looking at the size of the cancer they found that there was a link between what they saw on the scan and 2 blood biomarkers. They also found a link between 1 blood biomarker and early treatment changes they saw on the scan. 

The team concluded that certain biomarkers in the blood could help predict how well people might do after having radiotherapy. 

They also found that there is a link between biomarkers in the blood and what a PET-CT scans shows. This highlights the potential role of biomarkers to replace scans. 

More detailed information
There is more information about this research in the reference below. 

Please note, the information we link to here is not in plain English. It has been written for healthcare professionals and researchers.

Cell Death, Inflammation, Tumor Burden, and Proliferation Blood Biomarkers Predict Lung Cancer Radiotherapy Response and Correlate With Tumor Volume and Proliferation Imaging

A Salem and others
Clinical Lung Cancer 2018. Volume 19, issue 3, pages 239 to 248.

Where this information comes from    
We have based this summary on the information in the article above. This has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. We have not analysed the data ourselves. As far as we are aware, the link we list above is active and the article is free and available to view.

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 Fiona Blackhall
Professor Corinne Faivre Finn

Supported by

Cancer Research UK
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
The Christie Lung Cancer Research Fund

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer 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.

Wendy took part in a new trial studying the possible side effect of hearing loss

A picture of Wendy

"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

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