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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Another Step in Lung Cancer Screening: GRAIL Announces Plans to Initiate SUMMIT Study in 2019 to Sup

Another step forward is happening in the effort to find lung cancers early.  It’s an early detection study – in the UK – using both liquid biopsy and LDCT scans.  The program will start in 2019. The program is a joint effort between Grail, UK government agencies and UK medical centers.

The pace of change remains significant. Just under three years ago, Grail and its liquid biopsy goals were publicly announced.  The business is now well underway;  the SUMMIT  project is the third for Grail. The December 3, 2018 press release is pasted below; it provides further specifics.

GRAIL Announces Plans to Initiate SUMMIT Study to Support Development of Blood Test for  Early Cancer Detection

SUMMIT Study Partners Include UCL and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom, and Lung Cancer Alliance

December 03, 2018 07:01 PM Eastern Standard Time

MENLO PARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GRAIL, Inc., a healthcare company focused on the early detection of cancer, today announced plans to initiate the SUMMIT study in early 2019. SUMMIT is a prospective, observational, longitudinal, cohort study designed to enroll approximately 50,000 men and women age 50 to 77 years who do not have a cancer diagnosis at the time of enrollment. The study will evaluate the ability of an investigational blood test using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to detect multiple cancer types, including lung cancer. Approximately half the participants will be people at high risk for lung and other cancers due to a significant smoking history, and the other half will be people who are not at high risk for cancer based on smoking history.

SUMMIT will be conducted in the United Kingdom in partnership with UCL (University College London) and University College London Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust (UCLH). Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, is also a SUMMIT study partner and provided guidance on the study design.

“The SUMMIT study will support the development of our blood test for the early detection of multiple cancer types in a diverse population,” said Anne-Renee Hartman, MD, Vice President of Clinical Development at GRAIL. “We are excited to partner with UCL, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Lung Cancer Alliance on the SUMMIT study, as we continue to evaluate new ways to improve the early detection of cancer.”

SUMMIT also supports UCL’s and UCLH’s goal of assessing the feasibility of implementing lung cancer screening in the United Kingdom. By participating in the study, people determined to be at high risk for lung cancer will have an opportunity to undergo lung cancer screening with low dose computed tomography (LDCT) and will have access to resources for smoking cessation through the NHS in the United Kingdom. In the United States, LDCT is recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for people at high risk for lung cancer due to current or former smoking. However, currently in the United Kingdom, LDCT is not widely used as a screening tool.

“We have a common goal with GRAIL in conducting the SUMMIT study – the early detection of cancer,” said Sam Janes, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at UCL and Principal Investigator of the SUMMIT study. “By working together, we hope to bring lung cancer screening to people in the United Kingdom, while we also deepen our understanding of potential new technologies for early cancer detection.”

About GRAIL’s Clinical Research Program

GRAIL is conducting what the company believes to be one of the largest clinical research programs ever pursued in genomic medicine in collaboration with leading community and academic medical centers globally. In addition to SUMMIT, GRAIL is conducting two other large-scale studies, which are designed to characterize the landscape of genomic cancer signals in the blood, and to develop and evaluate GRAIL’s blood test for the early detection of multiple cancer types. The Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study is a prospective, observational, longitudinal study enrolling at least 15,000 people with and without cancer across 142 sites in the United States and Canada. The STRIVE study is a prospective, observational, longitudinal, cohort study that has enrolled approximately 100,000 women at the time of their screening mammogram across 37 sites in the United States.


GRAIL is a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. GRAIL is using the power of high-intensity sequencing, population-scale clinical studies, and state-of-the-art computer science and data science to enhance the scientific understanding of cancer biology, and to develop and commercialize pioneering products for the early detection of cancer. The company is located in Menlo Park, California and Hong Kong. It is supported by leading global investors and pharmaceutical, technology, and healthcare companies. For more information, please visit

About UCLH

UCLH (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust) provides first-class acute and specialist services in six hospitals in Central London. UCLH is committed to education and research and forms part of UCLPartners which in March 2009 was officially designated as one of the United Kingdom’s first academic health science centres by the Department of Health. UCLH works closely with UCL, translating research into treatments for patients. For more information visit or follow on Facebook (UCLHNHS), Twitter (@uclh), Youtube (UCLHvideo), or instagram (@uclh).

UCLH Cancer Collaborative is the Cancer Alliance for north and east London and brings together hospital trusts, GPs, health service commissioners, local authorities and patients to improve early cancer diagnosis, outcomes and care for patients in our area. Working with its stakeholders, its mission is to achieve world-leading patient outcomes and experience for our local population.

About UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. UCL is among the world’s top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 39,000 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 staff. UCL’s annual income is more than £1 billion. For more information visit, or follow on Twitter (@uclnews), or YouTube (

About Lung Cancer Alliance

Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) serves and listens to those living with and at risk for lung cancer to reduce stigma, improve quality of life and increase survival. LCA empowers its community by helping people navigate the paths of early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Insights allow LCA to improve care, amplify awareness, drive advocacy and lead research with the vision of tripling the number of survivors in the next decade. For more information, please visit

Contacts GRAIL, Inc. Charlotte Arnold, 650-255-1909

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