Listen to Sam Janes dicussing new research performed by Lungs for Living researchers on the Today Programme
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death worldwide and it is responsible for over 40,000 deaths annually in the UK alone. The process of diagnosing lung cancer however often requires several scans and biopsies before a treatment decision can be reached. In the past this may even have included invasive surgery to biopsy lymph nodes in the chest, simply to reach a diagnosis.
Endobronchial ultrasound is a relatively new technique pioneered at UCLH by Dr Navani and Professor Janes. It allows a biopsy to be taken from deep within the chest under mild sedation and represents a real breakthrough in the rapid diagnosis of lung cancer. An important recent trial published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine by Dr Navani and Professor Janes has demonstrated that endobronchial ultrasound can halve the time to a treatment decision in patients with suspected lung cancer. Intriguingly the trial also showed that the procedure can improve the survival of patients with lung cancer by allowing patients to receive a diagnosis rapidly and starting the procedure as early as possible.