Cambridge Early Detection researchers contribute to EU Cancer Screening reports

Researchers from the CRUK Cambridge Early Detection Programme played a key contribution to a new report by the EU Commission's Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, which provides advice and recommendations on improving cancer screening across the EU.

Screening can help spot cancers at an early stage, when treatment is more likely to be successful. The field of cancer screening is rapidly evolving, and in 2022 the European Commission will make a proposal to update the Council Recommendation on cancer screening to ensure it reflects the latest available scientific evidence.

In the autumn of 2021, leading cancer experts from across the world discussed the latest scientific progress in a series of three full-day scientific meetings, chaired jointly by Rebecca Fitzgerald, co-lead of the Early Detection Programme (University of Cambridge), and Harry de Koning (Erasmus MC Medical Centre, Rotterdam).

The experts’ conclusions were supported by a review of the scientific literature. These 'rapid reviews' were carried out by a team which included Dr Hui-Ling Ou, Research Associate in the Daniel Munoz Espin Lung Cancer Early Detection group in Cambridge.

The SAPEA Evidence Review Report went on to inform the 'Scientific Opinion' Report of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, both published on 2 March 2022.

The Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism recommends improvements to existing screening programmes for cervical cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer — by adopting new technologies, expanding the age range of screening, and optimising how frequently people are screened depending on age, sex and previous test results.

Furthermore, the experts found a strong scientific basis for introducing life-saving screening programmes in EU member states for both lung cancer and prostate cancer.

Explore the Report and the Scientific Opinion at and learn more about what the evidence suggests for successful screening programmes across Europe.