Information about the ERICA trial

The ERICA study is a randomised controlled research trial of new software called Skyline which contains six electronic Risk Assessment Tools for cancer (eRATs). Skyline links in with a patient’s medical record and calculates their risk of 6 cancers (lung, oesophago-gastric, colorectal, kidney, bladder, ovary) based on clinical features (symptoms/test results) coded into their medical record over the past 12 months. If a patient has a 2+% risk of one or more of the cancers, the GP will get a pop-up alert. The GP can then decide the appropriate course of action in discussion with their patient.  A trigger does not mean that a patient has cancer. The symptom(s) driving the alert may be easily explained by an existing condition or another medical complaint.

As part of this trial, we plan to recruit 530 GP surgeries across England. If your practice participates you may see the poster below in the surgery or online. Half of them will be given the Skyline software (‘intervention’); the other half will not, but they will continue to provide their usual care (‘control’). The trial will run for two years from April 2022 until end of March 2024. Skyline will be used by GPs within the intervention practices during this two-year period.

The ERICA trial team want to know how effective Skyline is at picking up cancers. Can it help GPs catch cancer sooner? The main trial outcome is to compare the stage of cancer diagnosed in patients at intervention practices, to those patients from control practices. It is hoped that by using Skyline, more patients in the intervention arm practices will be diagnosed at stage 1/2 (early) rather than stage 3/4 (advanced).

To help us assess how effective Skyline is, we need to analyse cancer related outcome data on patients diagnosed with cancer across all of our participating practices. This information is routinely collected in the UK and researchers are allowed to apply to study the data. We have ethical approval to do this and will comply with all management and storage policies outlined by the NHS and associated organisations who control the data. All patients will remain anonymous, so the research team will not know who the information belongs to. Once the study is complete, the results will be written up and published in scientific journals and presented at national and international academic conferences.

If you have any questions or would like further information please contact the study team

ERICA Trial Surgery Poster

ERICA Trial Surgery Poster