New technology to detect early stage lung cancer in people could improve survival rates and reduce treatment costs the University of Queenslands Diamantina Institute has said.

Clinical Trial Investigates the Impacting of Tell-tale B Cells.

The study recently presented at Cancer Research International in Vienna looked at the impact of testicular and peritoneal cancers on genetic biomarkers of lung cancer.

Around 20000 Australians are diagnosed with lung cancer every year and early detection and successful treatment is critical to extend survival.

The study investigated the impact of a type of hormone released by the prostate cancer PERC on the expression of a gene called Stress-Repressed Killer (SKE) cells in the bone marrow.

The presence of SKE cells which are characteristic early stage lung cancer cells has been linked to poorer outcomes and longer recurrence in people with advanced and aggressive prostate cancers.

High levels of cancer-related stress have been associated with a higher risk of relapse with one third of all patients diagnosed with advanced and aggressive prostate cancers experiencing the need to relapse within five years of diagnosis.

SKE cells are important because they are involved in the development of early stage lung cancer and play a vital role in the normal immune response to cancer cells.

They also are unlikely to become malignant cells via genetic manipulations in the lung and bone marrow. Therefore knowing their genetic make-up will help determine how best to treat patients with advanced and aggressive cancers.

Over a decade ago Professor Michael Edmondson from the University of Queenslands Diamantina Institute and Griffith Cardiologist began searching for a test based on a genetic test to differentiate between early stage and advanced peritoneal or colon cancer.

Our goal was to develop a test for the early detection of non-enhancing early stage lung cancers and develop better detection for those who require extra screening measures Professor Edmondson said.

He said that growing lung and other non-healing structures of the lung were being impacted by elevated blood pressure and COVID-19 and this led to the need for a test that could be used in screening programs for patients with lung injury or reformional changes such as cystitis.

This study tested a blood test developed by Adam Williams a Foundation Imaging Fellow and Pieta researcher in Brisbane.

The amount of medication needed to achieve successful phosphorylation of SKE cells (a measurement of how well their cellular and molecular response to stress is affected by changes in the cell environment) was a maximum of 65 micrograms per kilo which is positive enough to detect early stage and advanced peritoneal cancers but significantly lower than concentrations that can be achieved by population-based clinical trials he said.

Mr Williams who is now based in Sydney said the team launched a company-wide research project to determine if the method could be synthesized using existing technology.

Since we launched this project in 2015 weve pressed the brakes down and retooled the test he said.

Were continuing to optimize the test and incorporate new information from the bench-to-bedside control testing as well as new designed and advanced algorithms to better detect the key genetic markers of advanced peritoneal cancers and slow them down as much as possible.

To further our progress in this key area of research weve priced the test at just 15 Australian dollars (US12. 04) which is substantially less than some of the current range of US57 to US120 per test making it around the cost of a 25-year average salary for scientists in Australia.