​New Early Detection research funding awarded to Cambridge researchers

Congratulations to the Cambridge researchers who have been successful in their recent applications for CRUK Early Detection and ACED funding awards.

A CRUK Early Detection Project Award has been granted to Dr Clare Rebbeck and Professor Greg Hannon, CRUK Cambridge Institute, for their project “Timeline of DCIS progression” to create an improved clinical assay for breast cancer”. The project will allow the team to continue their work on ductal carcinoma insitu (DCIS), a considered precursor for invasive breast cancer. DCIS is often treated with aggressive therapy with the intention of reducing the incidence of invasive breast cancer, and ultimately reduce the number of breast cancer associated deaths. The unfortunate reality is that this strategy has not dramatically reduced the incidence of invasive breast cancer. Furthermore, many have questioned if all DCIS lesions have the same chance to eventually develop into invasive breast cancer. The researchers have made use of the thoughtful tissue donations from a large cohort of women having been diagnosed with DCIS, and have identified potential biomarkers which distinguish patients who developed invasive disease from those that did not. This award will be used to validate these markers in a larger, distinct cohort, an essential step in the goal to provide personalized treatment. Clare Rebbeck comments, "We are very excited to receive a CRUK Early Detection Project Award, allowing us to continue our work on ductal carcinoma insitu (DCIS), a considered precursor for invasive breast cancer."

CRUK Early Detection Primer Awards have been given to Jamie Blundell, Department of Oncology, and jointly to Drs Rohit Sinha and Richard Mair, Division of Neurosurgery.

Dr Blundell plans to leverage blood samples, collected over a long period of time for previous large-scale studies, to explore whether biomarkers in blood known as T-cell receptors could act as an “early warning” system for cancer. This is a proof-of-concept study which, if the data looks promising, will pave the way for a larger study where greater numbers of blood samples, taken prior to a cancer diagnosis, are analysed alongside matched incident tumours. This larger study will be able to critically assess blood-based immune-repertoire biomarkers for early cancer detection.

The Educam project, led by Drs Sinha and Mair, is a novel study aiming to provide a non-invasive approach the early detection of brain cancer.

ACED funding awards are granted to teams of researchers from ACED Member Centres. In the most recent funding round, an ACED Pilot Award has been won by Professor James Brenton (CRUK Cambridge Institute) and Dr Wendy J Fantl (Stanford University). The team will investigate whether CD9-NK cells can be detected using mass cytometry in the blood samples of women who have been recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Information about all the Early Detection research awards from Cambridge researchers may be found here: https://www.earlydetectioncamb...