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.

The Early Cancer Institute, University of Cambridge, 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, together with the Canary Center we funded four pioneering transatlantic collaborations resulting in 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).

Early Detection Conference Series

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Canary Center at Stanford, and Cancer Research UK present the Early Detection of Cancer Conference series. The annual conference brings together experts in early detection from multiple disciplines to share groundbreaking research and progress in the field.

The Conference is part of a long-term commitment to invest in early detection research, to understand the biology behind early-stage cancers, find new detection and screening methods, and enhance uptake and accuracy of screening.

Past Early Detection conferences

18-20 October 2022, Portland, Oregon.

6-8 October 2021, virtual conference. Conference report.

6-8 September 2020, virtual conference. Conference report.

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

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

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

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

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.