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Cancer Research UK among partners in new international research alliance

Partners across UK and US will focus on improving early cancer detection

CRUK

A new partnership between universities and charities in the UK and US will focus on improving early detection strategies for cancer, to improve survival outcomes across the globe.

It will see partners share expertise to aid research and develop new tools which will improve cancer diagnosis, with a focus on the early stages of cancer.

According to Cancer Research UK (CRUK), “early detection is essential to help more people beat cancer” - diagnosing cases early significantly improves survival for patients across cancer types.

This reflects statistics in the UK which demonstrate that five-year survival for six types of cancer is at least three times higher if the disease is diagnosed at stage one, compared to stage four.

The partnership – The International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) – is between Cancer Research UK, Canary Center at Stanford University, the University of Cambridge, the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, UCL and the University of Manchester.

This alliance will aim to advance early detection technologies, to help avoid diagnosing cancer in the late stages and by doing so help to improve the survival rates of cancer by catching it at the early stages when it is easier to treat.

CRUK acknowledged that although existing screening programmes for some cancers, including bowel, breast and cervical cancer, have seen great improvement, there are still many cancer types which have no screening methods, with little to no new technology for early detection.

The ACED is hoping to eradicate some of the challenges that researchers have faced previously, which have been barriers to developing these new technologies. This includes lack of funding and collaboration opportunities, which have caused research to remain small scale and isolated.

“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. No more siloes, no more missed opportunities; let us tackle this problem together and beat cancer,” said Michelle Mitchell, chief executive of Cancer Research UK.

Through the combination of world-leading experts, the alliance will help to accelerate breakthroughs and produce real-world benefit for patients.

The funding of this alliance is part of CRUK’s early detection strategy, with the charity investing a cash injection of up to £40m ($52m) into ACED over the next five years. Stanford University and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute will also invest in the alliance, making the total potential contribution over £55m ($71m).

According to CRUK, the ACED will also engage with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the research field to ensure that any breakthroughs can reach patients as quickly as possible.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

21st October 2019

From: Healthcare

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