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Oncimmune Holdings PLC

UK biotechs seek to speed up cancer detection

When top cancer doctors gathered for the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology last weekend, faster detection of the illness was on medics’ minds.

Nottingham-based Oncimmune, listed on Aim, has developed a patented technology that can detect through a blood test when the body is starting to fight a tumour. The company said this approach could allow cancer to be detected four or more years before standard clinical diagnoses.

This week, in what the company said was the largest randomised controlled study for the early detection of lung cancer, Oncimmune reported that using its technology in combination with X-rays and scans reduced the incidence of patients presenting with late-stage lung cancer, compared with standard clinical practice.

Adam Hill, chief executive, said 80 per cent of lung cancers were picked up at a late stage, with 40 per cent only spotted when the person turned up at an emergency department with symptoms.

Yet if treated at stage one, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer was more than 90 per cent, compared with 6 or 7 per cent at stage four.

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