Date Published: 20 October 2005

World leaders in cancer research to meet in Liverpool

International experts in lung cancer research will meet in Liverpool next week to discuss the development of early detection systems for the disease.

Lung Cancer is responsible for 22% of cancer deaths but attracts just four per cent of British research funds. Smoking is the leading risk factor for the disease, causing eight out of 10 UK lung cancer deaths.

Experts from around the world will meet at Liverpool University's Cancer Research Centre, to discuss lung cancer detection methods, treatments and new findings.

Researchers at Liverpool working in partnership with SEQUENOM, developers of genetic analysis products, are developing a breakthrough technology that identifies molecular markers in early lung cancer. The new technology uses a DNA analysis technique to detect cells in the lung that are likely to be become cancerous.

Professor John Field, Director of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Research Programme, said:

" Speakers at the workshop will focus on the major issues in lung cancer which affect both the USA and Europe, with the objective of developing a strategy for lung cancer early diagnosis and intervention approaches.

_ Leaders in patient support from the US and UK will discuss strategies for using political lobbying and the media to raise public awareness of the disease and the urgent need for more research funding."

Scientists at the workshop will also assess the current status of spiral CT imaging trials. Spiral CT scanners have the ability to scan the thorax very quickly and studies show that they can detect small nodules in the lung that are otherwise poorly visible on chest X-rays. In order to detect lung cancer at its most curable stage, research suggests that regular CT scans should be undertaken on individuals at high risk of contracting the disease.

Currently there are large US and European randomised controlled clinical trials being undertaken to demonstrate that these screening methods should be introduced into the health care system.

Professor Field added:

" Liverpool is internationally recognised in early lung cancer detection research and so it is important that we continue to collaborate and meet with other experts to recommend new and developing strategies for lung cancer early diagnostics."

The workshop is accredited by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) and sponsored by the American Cancer Society, AstraZeneca, Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, Siemens and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

The Fourth International Lung Cancer Molecular Biomarkers and Intervention Workshop will be held at the University of Liverpool Cancer Research Centre, from Thursday, 27 October to Saturday, 29 October.

Source: Liverpool University, England (UK)
http://www.liv.ac.uk -

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