chrisdorney /
24 October 2019AmericasRory O'Neill

Cancer Research UK leads transatlantic early detection project

Cancer Research UK has announced a new research collaboration aimed at discovering new technologies to enable the early detection of cancer.

Citing previous barriers to cancer early detection research, such as lack of funding, the alliance said it hoped to combine the “fire power” of some of the world’s leading research institutions in order to accelerate breakthroughs.

Partners in the new International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (AECD) include, alongside Cancer Research UK, the University of Cambridge, University College London, the University of Manchester, the Canary Center at Stanford University, and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

A total of £55 million will be invested in the collaboration, including £40 million over five years from Cancer Research UK.

“Scientists in the Alliance will work together at the forefront of technological innovation to translate research into realistic ways to improve cancer diagnosis, which can be implemented into health systems,” said a Cancer Research UK press release.

Among the alliance’s research objectives is the development of new improved imaging techniques and robotics for the early detection of tumours and pre-cancerous lesions.

The project will also investigate the potential use of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data in cancer detection.

Michelle Mitchell, chief executive at Cancer Research UK said early detection has “the potential to completely change the future of cancer treatment, turning it into a manageable and beatable disease for more people”.

She added: “Real progress in early detection can’t be achieved by a single organisation. Benefits for patients will only be realised if early cancer detection leaders from around the world come together.”

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