Lung cancer X-ray
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Video

Lung cancer is 'great scientific challenge'

Lung cancer kills more people more quickly than any other form of the disease in this country - 35,000 every year, more than twice the number killed by bowel cancer, and three times as many as breast cancer.

The Lung Cancer Alliance is a new initiative that will bring together some of the country's leading research institutions, teaching hospitals and cancer charities , in an effort to improve treatment for lung cancer patients. Its first objective will be to enrol every lung cancer patient in the country in a clinical trial.

The Today programme's science correspondent, Tom Feilden, reports. The research is based at Hammersmith hospital and run by Michael Seckl from Imperial College, who said: "If I was trying to do this work in a single centre, with access only to small number of cancer patients, it would take me a very long time to do the study.

"So I think this is a wonderful opportunity for us to move the pace forward in what we're achieving for lung cancer patients.

Professor Alan Ashworth added: "Outcomes for lung cancer are still terrible.... We really need to be turning the research community much more onto lung cancer as an unmet need, as a great scientific challenge, and something that we can potentially save many lives by improving."

First broadcast on the Today programme on Friday 26 April.

  • 26 Apr 2013