Artificial Intelligence could lead to transformation in early diagnosis of cancer

Published: 22nd May, 2018

In a speech by Teresa May the Government has pledged millions of pounds of funding to develop artificial intelligence able to transform outcomes through early diagnosis of cancer and chronic disease through the Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges.

Industry and charities will work with the NHS to develop algorithms that can use patient data and lifestyle information to warn GPs when a patient should be referred to an oncologist or another specialist. It is estimated that AI could help prevent 22,000 deaths from cancer each year by 2033, and give patients an additional five years of healthy, independent life by 2035.

Was anyone harmed by the recent breast cancer screening scandal?

Published: 21st May, 2018

Dr Stephen John, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Public Health, Cambridge University has written about the ethical issues surrounding the recent news that IT errors resulted in women not being invited to their final breast screening appointment. He asks: 'Was anyone harmed by the breast cancer screening scandal?' In this balanced analysis Stephen argues that it all depends which direction you look in - read here

Cancer Research UK launch Early Detection collaboration matcher tool

Published: 08th May, 2018

In order to facilitate applications to their new funding schemes that require inter-institutional and multidisciplinary collaborations, CRUK have developed a "Collaboration Matcher". We would like to see much more representation from Cambridge researchers and encourage you to complete the simple form here, outlining your early detection research interests and your collaboration needs. The responses will be made available immediately to other early detection researchers.

Programme member Juliet Usher-Smith awarded grant to investigate bowel cancer screening

Published: 25th April, 2018

Dr Juliet Usher-Smith, academic general practitioner from the Primary Care Unit (PCU) and member of our programme, has been awarded a grant of almost £65,000 from Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer. The research will investigate whether people living in England should be invited to take part in the bowel cancer screening programme based on their genes and lifestyle factors, not just based on their age.

Invitation to submit poster abstract for 2018 Early Detection of Cancer Conference

Published: 27th March, 2018

PhD students and postdocs within 3 years post-PhD are invited to submit a poster abstract for the 2018 Early Detection of Cancer conference. The conference takes place from 2 - 4 October at the Knight Cancer Institute, Portland, Oregon. 

New multispectral imaging endoscope tested in those at risk of oesophageal cancer

Published: 05th March, 2018

Dr Sarah Bohndiek, Dr Massimiliano di Pietro and Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald from the Early Detection Programme appeared on BBC Look East on Friday 2nd March to mark the start of a new clinical trial in patients with Barrett’s oesophagus.

Rebecca Fitzgerald gives Croonian lecture at Royal College of Physicians

Published: 07th February, 2018

The prestigious Croonian lecture was given today by Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald at the Royal College of Physicians, London. These lectures, established in 1749, are given by eminent scientists at the invitation of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society. Rebecca spoke on the subject of "Precision early diagnosis of oesophageal cancer using a pill on a string".

Charity calls for more accurate early detection test for prostate cancer

Published: 05th February, 2018

New figures released by Prostate Cancer UK reveal that more men now die from prostate cancer every year in the UK than women die from breast cancer, making it now the third most common cancer to die from after lung and bowel cancer. Due to an ageing population, the number of men dying from prostate cancer has continued to rise despite survival rates being 2.5 times higher than they were 30 years ago. Angela Culhane, the charity’s chief executive said ‘Plans to create an accurate test fit for use as part of a nationwide prostate cancer screening programme, as well as developing new treatments for advanced prostate cancer are already well underway. But to achieve these aims, we need to increase our investment in research’. Click here to read the whole article.

Whole-population testing for breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations is cost-effective

Published: 24th January, 2018

Screening the entire population for breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations, as opposed to just those at high-risk of carrying this mutation, is cost effective and could prevent more ovarian and breast cancers than the current approach, according to research led by Queen Mary University of London and published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Read more about this research on the QMUL newspage.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University publish exciting research of a universal blood test for cancer

Published: 22nd January, 2018

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore have published a single blood test, CancerSEEK, that can detect the presence of eight cancers by analysing mutations in cell free DNA and levels of circulating proteins. This potentially heralds a breakthrough in the early detection of cancer although the test requires further testing in a population who have not already had their cancer detected clinically.  This is particularly exciting for cancers like pancreas, liver and ovary which are difficult to detect and for which there are no screening tests available. The test has a very high specificity of greater than 99%, which should minimize false positives, and an average sensitivity of 70% although this may reduce to ~50% for the detection of very early stage cancers. Read More

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