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Early Cancer Institute

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald in the lab

Today sees the launch of the Early Cancer Institute at Cambridge. Our mission is deceptively simple: to detect cancer early enough to cure it.

When the Early Cancer Institute opens, it will be the first physical institute in the UK dedicated to early cancer, according to the Director Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald. "People have tended to shy away from researching early cancer, but unless we do this work we are not going to improve survival rates for the majority of our patients, because most patients are still diagnosed late. Outcomes can be completely transformed if the cancer is diagnosed early enough and we have the rights treatments."

The institute will house as many as 120 researchers – from biologists and clinicians to engineers, physicists and social sciences – who will focus on cancers that are hard to treat and as such have very poor outcomes, including lung, pancreas, oesophagus and liver cancers, and acute myeloid leukaemia. Outcomes for these cancers have changed little over the past few years.

Professor Fitzgerald added: "Cambridge has a rich history of making huge strides in cancer research, from developing the technology that allows us to sequence the DNA of tumours through to pioneering new approaches to treatments, such as the use of monoclonal antibodies and PARP inhibitor drugs. We want to build on this legacy of discovery and innovation and apply it to early cancer."

Full Story:

Read more about the institute, the pioneering research and scientists within it on the University of Cambridge's Stories page, the full story was written by Craig Brierly:

Long Read: Inside the new institute looking at early cancer