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The SCOOT study seeks current and former smokers across England to provide blood samples for ongoing research aiming to improve lung cancer diagnosis.

The SCOOT study (Sample Collection for The Integration and Analysis of Data Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Patient Outcomes with Thoracic Diseases) is part of the DART lung health programme that aims to develop new, more accurate and quicker methods for detecting and characterising lung cancer earlier and improving patient outcomes.

SCOOT is embedded in the NHSE Targeted Lung Health Check Programme, a national scheme which identifies people with increased risk of lung cancer and invites them for screening (including a lung health check and chest CT scan) to help detect lung cancer as early as possible and improve survival in patients where it is detected. Blood samples are collected from people signing up to the study.

Run through the Department of Oncology’s Clinical Trials Office (OCTO), part of Oxford's new clinical trials office that specialises in cancer early detection and precision prevention trials, collected samples are analysed in a laboratory for chemical biomarkers or DNA changes in the blood that arise from fragments of cancer cells. The results are paired with NHS data. They are then fed into artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms developed by DART. The AI algorithms aim to help achieve earlier detection and characterisation of lung nodules (small growths on the lung which can be benign or malignant).  

The results will be used in novel ways to 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.

As SCOOT recruits the 400th participant to the study, Chief Investigator Dr Lee, Consultant Respiratory Physician at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, highlights the importance of this research:


“The SCOOT study is helping us to understand what the future of lung screening could look like. By combining biomarker results from a simple blood test with AI technology, we may be able to detect cancers earlier and identify those at the highest risk of developing the disease.”

SCOOT are recruiting people who meet the following inclusion criteria:

  • Patients with a pulmonary nodule(s) detected on a CT scan performed as part of Targeted Lung Health Check programme which requires further investigation with a PET-CT scan, and/or biopsy, and/or surgical resection.
  • Willing and able to give informed consent.
  • A single 30ml blood sample is collected; there is no follow up.
  • Consent and blood sample can be collected at any Lung Health Check related appointment after the initial low-dose CT scan has revealed a nodule requiring further investigation.

As of February 2024, SCOOT is recruiting people from 10 NHS Trusts:

  • Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Hospitals
  • University Hospitals of North Midlands
  • University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

To learn more about how blood-based biomarker research is helping to improve lung health checks and early lung cancer diagnosis please visit: SCOOT Sample Collection and DART Lung Health.

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