A study using a blood test to detect lung cancer (ECLS)

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

Cancer type:

Lung cancer





This study is looking at using a new blood test to try and detect lung cancer.

More about this trial

If lung cancer is diagnosed early, it can be treated more successfully than when it is diagnosed later. Researchers want to develop a blood test for people who are at risk of lung cancer. They hope it will pick up antibodies Open a glossary item circulating in the bloodstream when the cancer is still at a very early stage.

Researchers want to see how well the test works by taking blood samples from people who are at high risk of developing lung cancer.

The aim of this study is find out how well this blood test is at detecting early lung cancer.

Who can enter

You may be invited to join this study if all of the following apply. You

  • Live in Tayside, Glasgow or surrounding areas
  • Are a smoker or ex-smoker
  • Are well enough to be up and about for at least half the day (performance status 0, 1 or 2)
  • Are between 50 and 75 years old

You may also be invited to join this study if all of the above apply and you have a close relative (mother, father, brother or sister) with lung cancer.

You cannot join this study if any of these apply

Trial design

The researchers need 12,000 people to join this study.

This is a randomised study. The people taking part are put into 1 of 2 groups by a computer. Neither you nor your doctor will be able to decide which group you are in.

Everyone taking part will have a blood sample taken.

For half the people, your blood sample is tested using a new test. This is the lung cancer test group.

For the other half your blood sample isn’t tested as part of this study. But if you agree it may be used in future cancer research. This is the non test group.

ECLS trail diagram

People in the lung cancer test group will receive their results by post. A ‘positive’ test result means that your blood may have antibodies that are linked to lung cancer.

If you have a positive result, you have a chest X-ray and CT scan of your lung. Your GP and local specialist chest consultant will receive the results. If needed, you then have an appointment to see your local chest specialist.

If the scan shows no problems you will receive a letter explaining this. You have a CT scan every 6 months for the next 2 years.

The researchers may ask you to fill in a short survey questionnaire when they initially see you, 1 month and 3 months afterwards and then every 6 months for the next year.

The researchers will follow what happens to everyone in the study for 10 years to see if anyone gets cancer. They will do this by using the information found in the Scottish Cancer Registry.

Hospital visits

For people whose blood sample isn’t tested there are no extra visits. Nor are there for people whose blood sample does not show any signs of antibodies.

For people whose blood sample is tested and shows signs of antibodies linked to lung cancer, you will have tests for up to 2 years, as detailed above.

Side effects

You may have some discomfort, bleeding or bruising where the blood sample is taken.

You may feel anxious or worried about what the test result may be. If your test result shows signs of antibodies linked to lung cancer and you want to talk to someone about this, you can make an appointment to see a specially trained research nurse.

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 Frank Sullivan

Supported by

Chief Scientist Office (CSO)
NHS Tayside
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Dundee

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

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

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