About the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme

When cancer is found earlier it can be easier to treat successfully. Statistics from Cancer Research UK show that the ten-year survival for eight different types of cancer combined is more than three times higher if the disease is diagnosed at stage one or two, compared with survival rates when diagnosed at stage three or four.

The CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme is one of 12 programmes of the CRUK Cambridge Centre, a designated major Cancer Centre. The aims of our Programme are:

  1. To create a strong, virtual network of multidisciplinary groups in Cambridge with a focus on earlier cancer detection.
  2. To develop relevant population-based and clinical resources.
  3. To facilitate the creation of new programmes and projects focused on the detection of pre-invasive disease.
  4. In the longer term to establish a physical Early Detection Research Centre in Cambridge to create a focused hub of activity in the early cancer detection field.

The CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme, launched in 2016, is a truly multidisciplinary programme focusing on research into the earlier detection of cancer. World class researchers are engaged in a variety of projects with the aim of better understanding the biology of the disease and developing methods to detect it at an earlier stage, with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of deaths caused by cancer.
The CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme is co-led by Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald and Professor Sarah Bohndiek.


The Early Detection programme in Cambridge includes five dedicated early detection research labs. The programme funds multidisciplinary pump priming projects with the aim of supporting new research ideas in the Early Detection field which will produce data leading to further project grant applications.


The Early Detection programme is truly multidisciplinary and involves researchers from across the academic spectrum.


The Early Detection Forum events offer opportunities for networking, communication and collaboration between researchers across a wide range of disciplines. These events include clinical / scientific idea sharing; an annual Symposium offering researchers engaged with the programme the chance to showcase their latest research and engage in key debates related to early detection, and regular early detection related seminars presented by visiting researchers from the UK and overseas.

Public Engagement

Public Engagement

Our remit is also to engage the public in the early detection debate and the first ever cancer-related Cambridge Festival of Ideas event was organised by our programme. In addition, Early Detection researchers feature regularly in the Cambridge Science Festival and other public events around the city.

Shared Cancer Prevention Blog

This blog is set up by King's College London and in supported by the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme. The blogs are written by a group of epidemiologists and population researchers studying the causes of or early events in the development of cancer. The aim is to be able to interfere and prevent cancer or diagnose it whilst still easy to treat.