Canary Center at Stanford

The Canary Center at Stanford is the first research centre in the US dedicated uniquely to cancer early detection programs. The Canary Center's main research areas include: cancer biomarker discovery and validation, development of novel technologies and point-of-care diagnostics, mathematical modeling of cancer, development of new imaging techniques and molecular imaging probes, and translation of new diagnostic approaches into clinical trials.

Through two exchange visits in 2017 the Early Detection Programme and the Canary Center have established a long-term collaborative relationship to combine outstanding academic and clinical researchers from the UK and US to tackle some of the most challenging questions in detecting cancer earlier.

In 2018 the Canary Center and the CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection programme announced a pioneering transatlantic collaboration to fund four joint research projects exploring innovative ways to detect prostate, lung, oesophageal and renal cancers at an early stage.

For a video of the announcement of the awards and project overview of the collaborators see here:

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)

In 2016, The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, a leader in precision cancer medicine, and Cancer Research UK, the largest independent funder of cancer research globally, formed an international collaboration to accelerate research in the early detection of cancer.

The goal of this unique trans-Atlantic agreement is to find lethal cancers as they’re forming so they can be treated more effectively. Survival increases significantly when the disease is treated at an early stage. Cambridge Early Detection Researchers have been successful in being awarded CRUK OHSU Project and Spark Awards (see details on Research Project pages).

An annual early detection conference is jointly organised by CRUK, OHSU and The Canary Center at Stanford. The next conference will take place on 6-8 October 2020 as a virtual conference due to the COVID-19 situation.

Past Early Detection conferences

21-24 June 2016, Sondland-Durant Conference, Portland, Oregon.

20-22 September 2017, Cambridge, UK. Conference report

2-4 October 2018, Portland, Oregon. Conference report.

24-26 September 2019, Canary Center, Stanford. Conference report.

Owlstone Medical Ltd

Owlstone Medical is a Cambridge-based diagnostics company developing novel technologies for early disease detection. The company’s Breath Biopsy® platform has introduced a new diagnostic modality making it possible to discover novel non-invasive biomarkers in breath using a platform with the potential to transition to point-of-care.

The PAN-cancer study is a collaboration between the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre, Owlstone Medical Ltd and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The study is evaluating whether Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy® technology can differentiate between patients with and without different cancer types by comparing breath biomarkers in gastric, oesophageal, renal, prostate, bladder and pancreatic cancer and healthy volunteers. This study is the first step in evaluating volatile organic compounds analysis as a test to improve early detection rates for cancer with future applicability to primary care.

Chief Investigator: Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald. Principal Investigators: gastric and oesophageal cancers -Dr Massimiliano di Pietro, bladder cancer - Miss Alexandra Colquhoun, prostate cancer - Mr Vincent Gnanapragasam, renal cancer - Mr Grant Stewart, pancreas cancer - Dr Edmund Godfrey, liver cancer - Ms Victoria Snowdon. Further information can be found here.

Owlstone Medical is also undertaking a multi-centre prospective trial to validate detection of lung cancer biomarker clinical practice lung cancer screening, LuCID funded by a £1.1m SBRI grant from the NHS with Dr Robert Rintoul as Chief Investigator.

For more information on the Breath Biopsy, please click here to watch a short 10 minute webinar which will give you an overview of the science behind breath biomarkers and explains how you can incorporate breath biomarkers into your own clinical trials.