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Early Cancer Institute


Our researchers are involved in a number of clinical studies, translating research to patient benefit:

The ACED Cohort

Early cancer detection research studies need a wide range of participants to identify risk factors and evaluate new screening and diagnostic techniques. The Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) Cohort is a group of volunteers willing to consider participating in early cancer detection research.

BEST2 Trial

The BEST 2 trial is looking at the capsule sponge and how effective it is as a screening tool for Barrett's oesophagus.

BEST4 Trial

The BEST4 trial, jointly funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), will explore if the capsule sponge can prevent deaths from oesophageal cancer when offered as a screening test to people on long-term medication for heartburn – one of the most common Barrett's oesophagus symptoms.


The Cytosponge for Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia (CyGIM) study will look at the utility of a capsule sponge to diagnose GIM in combination with cellular and liquid biomarkers.


Project DELTA, funded by Innovate UK and Cancer Research UK, aims to improve the diagnosis of oesophageal cancer. It is a collaboration between the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, King's College London, the PHG Foundation, Medtronic and Cyted. Advisory Board support is provided by Action Against Heartburn, Heartburn Cancer UK, the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, Eastern Academic Health Science Network and Newcastle University. We will develop algorithms to identify individuals most at risk. These people will be offered a Cytosponge™-TFF3 test, which can be delivered in an office setting. Cyted will develop AI algorithms to assist pathologists with rapid diagnoses. People diagnosed with Barrett’s oesophagus can then be monitored regularly for early signs of cancer.

Familial Gastric Cancer Study

A study that aims to identify genes that predispose to gastric cancers and to improve the treatment and management of individuals with an inherited predisposition to gastric cancer.

The OCCAMS study

Oesophageal and junctional adenocarcinomas (OAC) have a poor prognosis and the standard of care is cytotoxic chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy followed by surgery. In contrast to other cancers, as yet knowledge of the molecular pathogenesis of the disease has not been used to determine prognosis and therapy.


 A study looking at developing new tests to help diagnose and stage oesophageal squamous cancer (OSCAR). Funded by Cancer Research UK.

PAN-cancer study

The PAN-cancer study is a collaboration between the Early Cancer Institute, Owlstone Medical Ltd and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The aim of the PAN-cancer study is to evaluate the potential of Breath Biopsy technology developed by Owlstone Medical Ltd to detect various types of cancer by profiling Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) on breath. This serves as a first step in a research program evaluating the use of a breath test in early detection of cancer. 


The PROSPERO trial will inform future development of diagnostic key performance indicators in upper GI endoscopy.