A trial to develop a blood test to detect lung cancer and predict how well its treatment will work (LERG-NSCLC1)

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

Cancer type:

Lung cancer
Non small cell lung cancer




Phase 1

This trial will look at cell changes in people having surgery or chemotherapy treatment for non small cell lung cancer.

Every cell in our bodies contains a substance called DNA. DNA controls how our cells behave, and in turn how our body works. It is what our genes and chromosomes are made of. Your genes may affect your chance of having a certain disease, or how you respond to a particular drug.

DNA changes when certain chemicals attach to it. This is called ‘DNA methylation’. Different cancers and treatments show different patterns of methylation. These differences show up in blood and tissue samples. The patterns sometimes change during a course of treatment. Researchers want to test blood and tissue from people with lung cancer to study these patterns. They will gather treatment results, and build a record (‘epigenetic profile’). If they get enough samples, they may see links between certain DNA methylation patterns and treatment outcomes.

The aim of this trial is to study epigenetic profiles to develop a blood test to detect lung cancer. And show how treatment is working. In future, this could help doctors predict how well lung cancer treatment will work for each person. You will not have any direct benefit from taking part in this trial, and it is unlikely to change your treatment plan in any way. But the results of the trial will be used to help people with cancer in the future.

Who can enter

You can enter this trial if you

You cannot enter this trial if you

  • Have already started treatment for non small cell lung cancer
  • Have had any other cancer except carcinoma in situ of the cervix or basal cell carcinoma that have been removed with surgery (resected)

Trial design

This trial will not affect your care or treatment and is looking to translate a scientific discovery into a new test. Researchers call this a non interventional translational trial. If you would like to take part, please ask your cancer doctor to email the chief investigator Dr Peter Schmid (p.schmid@imperial.ac.uk). The trial team will send your doctor the information and equipment they will need for you to take part.

This trial will recruit 1,000 people into 3 groups. You will be in group 1 if you are waiting for surgery. You will be in group 2 if you are due to start chemotherapy. Group 3 is for healthy volunteers (control group) and has already recruited enough people.

Everyone in the trial will have some blood tests. If you are in group 1 or 2, researchers will also study a sample of your cancer (biopsy). If you are having surgery, they will use a sample taken during your operation. If you are having chemotherapy, they will look at the biopsy from your lung cancer tests.

The trial is split into 2 stages. Stage 1 uses the first 500 people recruited into groups 1 and 2, and the first 100 healthy volunteers from group 3. This stage will identify DNA Open a glossary item methylation patterns linked to lung cancer. Researchers will then develop a set of characteristics (‘model’) to predict lung cancer from a blood test.

Stage 2 of this trial will use the final 200 people from groups 1 and 2, and the last 200 healthy volunteers from group 3. Researchers will use blood and tissue samples from these people to test the model developed in stage 1.

The stage you take part in will depend on when you enter the trial. You will have the same tests as the rest of your group, even if they are in the other stage.

Hospital visits

If you are in group 1, you will have a blood test

When you have finished the trial, you will continue to see your trial doctor and have a blood test

  • Every 3 months for the first 3 years
  • Every 6 months for years 4 and 5
  • Once a year after this

If you are in group 2, you will have a trial blood test

  • Two weeks before you start chemotherapy for lung cancer
  • On days 1 and 8 of your first cycle of chemotherapy
  • On the first day of all other chemotherapy cycles

When you have finished the trial, you will continue to see your trial doctor and have a blood test every 2 or 3 months.

Side effects

As there is no treatment as part of this trial, there are no side effects. You may have a small bruise where you had your blood test.

You can find out more about surgery for lung cancer and side effects of chemotherapy for lung cancer on CancerHelp UK.

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 Peter Schmid
Dr Tim Crook

Supported by

Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
Imperial College

If you have questions about the trial please contact our cancer information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 1213

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

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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