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Canada Launches Early DetectionLung Cancer Study


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National Early Detection Study Aims to Improve Lung Cancer Survival Rates

VANCOUVER, Sept. 17 /CNW/ - The Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) and

the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer announce the launch of a nationwide

lung cancer detection study, involving 2,500 current and former smokers in

seven cities across Canada. The study has the potential to revolutionize the

detection and treatment of lung cancer, which remains Canada's leading cause

of cancer deaths.

This made-in-Canada program begins today, with study sites in Vancouver,

Calgary, Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Quebec City and Halifax. It uses a unique

combination of a questionnaire and tests of blood and breath to determine the

effectiveness of these readily accessible and low cost detection techniques

for lung cancer as a first step in early detection, streaming those identified

as being at higher risk to the costlier but more sensitive spiral CT and


This study is of vital importance, according to lead researchers Dr.

Stephen Lam and Dr. Ming Tsao, who note that, "Early detection and treatment

of lung cancer is the most promising way to reduce lung cancer mortality, and

could see a five-year survival rate of over 70% instead of the current 16%(*) -

that's more than quadruple the success rate without early intervention."

The study recognizes the need to create a lung cancer detection program

and infrastructure that is both timely and affordable within the Canadian

health care system. The study incorporates data such as a family history of

lung cancer, the presence or absence of chronic obstructive lung disease and

body height and weight, in addition to smoking history and age, to determine

lung cancer risk.

The study will also examine whether a simple breathing test to measure

lung capacity and a blood test can improve the accuracy of prediction, which

ultimately would help reduce the challenges associated with false positives in

spiral CT scans.

TFRI Scientific Director Dr. Victor Ling believes that study participants

will be helping to make history in cancer research. "This is an international

first," says Ling. "By using low-cost techniques to identify individuals who

are at risk and recommending them for more in-depth examination, we have the

potential to significantly increase both the effectiveness and the reach of

lung cancer detection."

The study builds on the best of current international trials in lung

cancer detection, says Dr. Heather Bryant, VP of Cancer Control at Canadian

Partnership Against Cancer. "An important aspect of this study is that it is a

cost-effective way to work with other international initiatives," she says.

The study will give us important information on how to approach any eventual

nationwide approach to early detection in lung cancer, she says.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Canada and around the

world, killing 20,000 in Canada(*) and 1.2 million worldwide. That is more than

colorectal, breast and prostate cancers combined. By 2020, it is projected

that lung cancer will be the fifth highest killer among all diseases.(*)(*)

Current and former smokers between the age of 50 and 75 who are

interested in participating are urged to call the toll-free study registration

line at 1-888-505-TFRI (8374).

About TFRI and Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Founded and funded by The Terry Fox Foundation, the Terry Fox Research

Institute (TFRI), is a Canada-wide not-for-profit institute with headquarters

in Vancouver, British Columbia. It works in partnership with provincial cancer

research and care organizations dedicated to ensuring today's best cancer

science becomes tomorrow's affordable medicine. TFRI was established in

October 2007, with funding from the Province of British Columbia and the Terry

Fox Foundation.

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is an independent organization

funded by the federal government to accelerate action on cancer control for

all Canadians. The Partnership brings together cancer survivors, patients and

families, cancer experts and government representatives to work towards this

aim. Its mandate is to be a driving force to achieve a focused approach,

helping to prevent cancer, enhance the quality of life of those affected by

the disease, decrease mortality and make cancer control more efficient.


For further information: Media Contacts: Pam Ryan, Terry Fox Research

Institute, (604) 317-7262; Polly Thompson, Canadian Partnership Against

Cancer, (416) 619-5782

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