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Comparing imaging techniques to diagnose lung cancer – looking for advisors

Are you interested in helping research to improve accuracy in earlier diagnosis of lung cancer from different imaging types?

We’re looking for people who’ve had imaging for suspected lung cancer whether or not they’ve gone on to be diagnosed, as well as those who’ve been diagnosed and treated.

What is it for?

A group led by the University of Oxford is planning a research study exploring whether a CT scan can diagnose lung cancer earlier than the chest x-ray currently performed when lung cancer is suspected. As part of this research, the team is inviting people to join a patient and public involvement (PPI) advisory group.

What is the purpose of the PPI advisory group? 

The group’s purpose is to ensure the experiences and views of those referred for chest imaging for suspected lung cancer, and those diagnosed with lung cancer or their family members/carers are taken into account when planning and delivering this study.

What would PPI advisory group members be expected to do?

PPI Group members will be asked to attend up to 3 workshops, review documents being designed for study participants, join a study steering committee and help share the final study results. You can choose to take part in all or some of these activities. 


The first workshop is expected to be held in June/July 2023 during the preparation of the final funding application to the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

If funded, the study will start early 2024 and there will be an opportunity to continue participation in the PPI advisory group at that point.


You will receive payment for any time spent in these activities and travel expenses for any face to face meetings, although most of the work will be completed remotely.

If you are interested and would like more information please contact

CanPredict: Lung cancer risk prediction

A  team of researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Nottingham have developed a new tool, called ‘CanPredict’, able to identify the people most at risk of developing lung cancer over the next 10 years, and put them forward for screening tests earlier, saving time, money and, most importantly, lives.

The ‘CanPredict’ tool has used anonymised health records of over 19 million adults from across the UK, and has the potential substantially to reduce the burden on NHS staff, saving time, money and streamlining the administrative process for better patient experience.

DART researcher, Dr Weiqi Liao, lead author on the publication and a data scientist in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, said: ‘Our tool, CanPredict, works by examining existing patient health records, so it could be run on a per GP surgery basis or nationally, automatically and objectively prioritising patients and alerting their GPs that they might benefit from further screening.

‘Because of this, CanPredict has the potential to substantially reduce the burden on NHS staff, saving time, money and streamlining the administrative process for better patient experience.’

Read the full University of Oxford press release here and the article here.

In-coming data

NHS Trusts which host Targeted Lung Health Checks are signing up to and contributing data to DART.

We are receiving data from:

We have received:

SCOOT, DART’s companion project, has collected 94 blood samples.

National lung cancer screening

The UK National Screening Committee has today recommended the introduction of targeted lung cancer screening.

Targeted screening for lung cancer is recommended for people aged 55 to 74 identified as being at high risk of lung cancer. Evidence shows that screening with low-dose computed tomography:

DART has been working with NHSE sites which have piloted Targeted Lung Health Checks. Their success has led to this extension of the programme to all the four UK nations. As one example, the Doncaster programme has been operational since mid-March 2021 and in the first year 11,857 lung health check calls and more than 5,000 initial scans have taken place; 50 previously unknown lung cancers have been found, 73% of which were early-stage lung cancers.  Seven other cancers have also been confirmed and  41 patients (75%) have been given life-saving cancer treatment so far.

DART will be working with lung health check sites to collect and use data to develop artificial intelligence methods to further improve early detection and thus lead to earlier and more successful treatment.

Read the UK NSC announcement here and the response from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation here.

Presentation at OxCODE Symposium

Dr Weiqi Liao presented a Lightning Talk at the OxCODE (Oxford Centre for Early Cancer Detection) symposium 2022 on Tuesday 13th September 2022 at Worcester College. His talk was entitled “Predicting the future risk of lung cancer: Development and validation of QCancer2 (10-year risk) lung model and evaluating the performance of nine prediction models”

View his poster and slides.

Data collection has begun

Congratulations to those sites which have been able to begin data transfer to DART. We have received over 38,000 records already and look forward to more sites being able to contribute shortly.

DART scientists will use the data gathered by the Targeted Lung Health Checks during patient screening and care to develop:

Collectively this will define a new set of standards for lung cancer screening, to increase the number of lung cancers diagnosed earlier, and therefore treated more successfully and with fewer invasive clinical procedures.

Data collected includes:

Celebrate Doncaster LHC’s success

The Doncaster programme has been operational since mid-March 2021 and in the first year 11,857 lung health check calls and more than 5,000 initial scans have taken place; 50 lung cancers have been found, 73% of which were early-stage lung cancers.  Seven other cancers have also been confirmed and  41 patients (75%) have been given life-saving cancer treatment so far.

Read more about this pioneering lung screening trial that is saving lives in Doncaster here

Optellum attains CE marking in Europe

DART partner Optellum has attained CE marking in Europe. 

This latest certification will allow for use in the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK), and opens the door to a European expansion for the growing company. It is the latest milestone for Optellum, which received FDA 510(k) clearance in early 2021 as the first AI-assisted diagnosis application for lung cancer. You can read the full press release online here.

In addition, researchers from the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) have published the results of an academic study in European Radiology which takes a closer look at the Optellum Lung Cancer Prediction (LCP) model. You can read the full story on Optellum’s website here.

Approvals and adoption


DART is very pleased that the project has been adopted onto the NIHR portfolio and is therefore deemed eligible for NIHR Clinical Research Network support. Further information about CRN support can be found on the NIHR website.

The 15 Local Clinical Research Networks (LCRN) cover the length and breadth of England and are available to coordinate and support the delivery of research across the NHS in England.

Health Research Authority HRA

DART has had confirmation that HRA and Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW) Approval has been given for the study, on the basis described in the application form, protocol, supporting documentation and clarifications requested and received.

DART has also had notification of Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) conditional support, as per the excerpt from their letter below.

“The role of the Confidentiality Advisory Group (CAG) is to review applications submitted under these Regulations and to provide advice to the Health Research Authority on whether application activity should be supported, and if so, any relevant conditions. This application was considered at the CAG meeting held on 10 February 2022.

Health Research Authority decision

The Health Research Authority, having considered the advice from the Confidentiality Advisory Group as set out below, has determined the following:

The application, to allow the disclosure of confidential patient information from participating trusts to the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is conditionally supported, subject to compliance with the standard and specific conditions of support.

Please note that the legal basis to allow access to the specified confidential patient information without consent is now in effect.”

The conditions of support allow for the project to proceed as planned and will be addressed by mid-May 2022. DART will comply with the HRA annual review.

CAG reference: 22/CAG/0010

IRAS project ID: 301420

REC reference: 21/WM/0278

GE Healthcare and Optellum join forces to advance Lung Cancer Diagnosis with Artificial Intelligence

DART partners GE Healthcare and Optellum announced that they have signed a letter of intent to collaborate to advance precision diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. GE Healthcare is a global leader in medical imaging solutions. Optellum is the leader in AI decision support for the early diagnosis and optimal treatment of lung cancer.

A clinician’s AI-assisted diagnosis of malignancy may enable patients whose nodules are not malignant to avoid unnecessary and aggressive procedures such as biopsy and surgical resection, while expediting the diagnostic process, and enabling the right treatment to start earlier. This has the potential to provide patients with personalized diagnosis and treatment plans, enabling lung cancer patients to be treated at the earliest possible stage when survival rates are the highest. This is also the ambition of DART.

Read the full press release here.

Reviewing a lung scan on a computer