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Research project: IPCARD Chest Clinic Study (CI: Brindle)

Currently Active: 

IPCARD is to be administered to a population with high rates of chronic respiratory disease to identify symptoms that distinguish between lung cancer and non-malignant respiratory disease, and symptoms that predict operable lung cancer in this population.  

Lay summary:

86% of UK lung cancer (LC) patients are diagnosed when curative treatment is not possible. Government (NICE) guidelines recommend chest X-Ray if any 1 of 10 specified symptoms is unexplained. However, these symptoms often have other causes and some are very common. Chronic respiratory disease (COPD), which is very common in LC patients, has some similar symptoms to LC, making diagnosis difficult. There is also a lack of evidence to support the NICE guidelines.  This study aims to provide evidence about which symptoms identify patients with LC.

Previous studies providing likelihoods that a person has LC on the basis of symptoms had a number of weaknesses:  likelihoods (predictive values) were based upon GP records which do not record all symptoms experienced by patients.   Prospective studies (studies that start and record symptoms/risks before a LC diagnosis is known) are required to provide high quality evidence about LC symptoms.   Furthermore, previous studies were not designed to distinguish between operable and inoperable LC.  That is, we do not know whether or not symptoms of operable and inoperable LC differ. 

This study will use a self-completion questionnaire (IPCARD) to prospectively and systematically collect symptom, risk and comorbidity data.  Patients aged >= 40 attending 3 lung-shadow clinics before diagnosis will be invited to complete the questionnaire. Diagnoses will be followed up four months following recruitment.  Analyses will:

(i) Identify symptoms that predict LC diagnosis in a population with high rates of respiratory disease ( chest clinic population) - Jo shim's studentship.

(ii) Identify differences between symptoms of operable and inoperable LC .

(iii) Identify symptoms that predict LC in a GP population without chronic respiratory disease (COPD) - case control study.

Outcomes: This study will evaluate the diagnostic value of symptoms for their future inclusion in clinical decision aids in development, prior to evaluation.

Project Team

Lucy Brindle (CI)

Jo Shim (PhD student)

Steve George

Peter Nichols

Anindo Banerjee

Project Funder

University of Southampton

Associated research themes

Early diagnosis



Lung Cancer

Chronic Respiratory Disease

Operable Lung Cancer

Related research groups

Complex Healthcare Processes
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