A new test that analyzes the immune system's response to cancer in its earliest stages has been shown to be able to detect lung cancer four years or more earlier than is achieved with current diagnostic methods.
It is the diagnostic platform Oncimmune EarlyCDT, which takes advantage of the response of the immune system to detect the presence of autoantibodies generated by the body as part of the natural defense against cancer cells. The findings were presented during the President’s Symposium of the 2019 World Lung Cancer Conference, organized by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).
The randomized controlled trial has been carried out on 12,209 people in Scotland who presented a high risk of developing lung cancer. Their results show that, thanks to the test, more people could be diagnosed in the early stage of the disease in the two years after the EarlyCDT Lung test was carried out than those detected with conventional methods.
The authors believe that this trial is the largest for the detection of lung cancer using biomarkers performed anywhere in the world. Further, “EarlyCDT Lung it allows people to stratify according to their risk of developing lung cancer, ”they said.
Among the people who underwent the test EarlyCDT Lung and developed lung cancer in the following two years, 41.1 percent had been diagnosed at an early stage (stage 1 and 2) of the disease, compared with 26.8 percent among the control group subject to standard clinical practice
As the authors point out, the trial also showed a lower death rate among people who underwent the test at two years compared to those in the control group, who did not undergo the test. Specific deaths from lung cancer were also minor in the intervention group. The data suggests that the lung test EarlyCDT Lung, followed by a low dose scan or CT scan, could reduce mortality, although the trial was not designed to demonstrate this goal at two years.
For Dr. Frank Sullivan, professor of medicine at St. Andrews University (Scotland) and lead investigator of the trial, “It is likely that these findings have significant global implications for early detection of lung cancer by showing how a blood test, followed by a low-dose scanner or CT scan, can increase the number of patients diagnosed at an earlier stage of the disease, when surgery is still possible and the chances of survival are much greater. ”
Adam Hill, executive director of Oncimmune, commented: “We are delighted that the ECLS trial has demonstrated the potential of our platform to transform the way cancer is diagnosed. We look forward to working with health authorities in Scotland, and other countries, to deploy EarlyCDT Lung more broadly, with the goal of saving lives and reducing costs for the NHS and other health care systems worldwide. Meanwhile, we continue to test our technology in other types of cancer, including liver, ovaries, breast and prostate, ”he added.
The researchers say that the next step is to carry out a wider evaluation based on a population of up to 200,000 patients to determine the implications of diagnosis with EarlyCDT Lung in survival and mortality in a real environment.