SUMMIT up and running once more
13 August 2020
As the clinical trials community continues to adapt to the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, some studies face unique challenges. One such project, the CTC-coordinated study SUMMIT, has seen its team make innovative changes in order to get what is the UK's largest ever lung cancer screening study back up and running.
SUMMIT is designed for participants living in London whose smoking history puts them at a higher risk of developing cancer. So far, over 11,000 Londoners between the ages of 50 and 77 have taken part, undergoing a lung health check and giving a blood sample for clinical evaluation. By doing this, the study aims to detect lung cancer early in an at-risk section of the population, when chances of successful treatment are greatest. 
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic brought increased pressures on hospitals and staff, not to mention public transport restrictions and other obstacles for those looking to travel, SUMMIT appointments were brought to a halt in March of this year.  
Now, with the introduction of new working patterns, the safe re-opening of the study's four lung health check centres means new participants can be welcomed back by SUMMIT in September.
“It has been a great effort by the team to get the SUMMIT study up and running again,” says Sam Janes, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at UCL/UCLH and Chief Investigator of the SUMMIT Study. “I am hugely grateful to the UCL Cancer Trials Centre, clinical fellows, senior research nurses, the SUMMIT contact centre and the site teams for working so hard to make sure that these participants are seen. As we know, early diagnosis is key to successful lung cancer treatment, so these follow up appointments are crucial.”
Lung cancer is responsible for around 35,000 deaths per year in the UK. Early diagnosis is key to effective treatment and increased survival for all cancers, but particularly for lung cancer: if diagnosed at the earliest stage, 70% of lung cancer patients will survive for at least a year, compared to around 14% for people diagnosed with the most advanced stage of the disease. 

More information on the work being done by SUMMIT can be found on the study's webpage.
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