The earlier cancer can be treated, the greater a patient’s chances of survival. Understanding the biology of early cancers and pre-cancerous states will allow doctors to find accurate ways to spot the disease earlier and where necessary, treat it more effectively. It could even enable ‘precision prevention’ – where the disease could be stopped from ever occurring in the first place.
The International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED), a partnership between Cancer Research UK, Canary Center at Stanford University, the University of Cambridge, Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU, UCL and the University of Manchester aims to jump-start this under-explored field of cancer research.
Previously, early detection research has been too small-scale and disconnected to be effective. Individual research groups have chipped away at big challenges with limited success. By combining the ‘fire power’ of some of the leading research institutions in the world in early detection, ACED aims to accelerate breakthroughs, leading to quicker benefits for patients.
Journalists came to the SMC to hear from the UK partners in the project about why early cancer detection is so important and what they hope to achieve.
Dr David Crosby, head of early detection research at Cancer Research UK
Prof Mark Emberton FMedSci, ACED lead at UCL
Prof Rebecca Fitzgerald FMedSci, ACED lead at the University of Cambridge
Prof Rob Bristow FMedSci, Aced lead at the University of Manchester