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Early Detection Research Funding

The chances of survival increase significantly if cancer is detected and treated at an early stage. Expanding research in the early detection field offers the potential for transformational improvements in patient outcomes and is essential in making progress towards our vision of 3 in 4 people surviving cancer by 2034.

Cancer Research UK are convening a new Early Detection Research Committee that will award funding for research into the early detection of cancer. They say: "We’re challenging the research community to focus efforts, drawing together disparate activity across many areas of cancer research and across disciplines – including biomedical sciences, physical sciences, engineering, mathematics and industry – to bring in new thinking and build novel early detection research projects.

"The Early Detection Research Committee will consider early detection research as investigations that enable the detection of cancer, or pre-cancerous states, at the earliest possible time point at which an intervention might be made. Our ambition is to build to an annual investment of £20 million in this area by 2021."

Initially, the committee’s remit will include:

Project awards

  • Catalytic awards to stimulate and support new lines of early detection research
  • Up to £500,000
  • Up to 3 years

Programme awards

  • High-level support for ambitious research programmes to enable significant progress in early detection research
  • Flexible funding to be responsive in an evolving field
  • Up to £2.5m
  • Up to 5 years
  • Renewable

CRUK will fund discovery and translational research which is mindful of the clinical/population context, including, but not limited to:

  • Biological research underpinning early detection and biomarker discovery/validation
  • Human-based early detection discovery research
  • Population risk-stratification for early detection
  • Biomedical and health informatics, and systems biology for early detection
  • Development and utilization of preclinical early detection model systems 
  • Novel early detection technology development
  • Translational/clinical early detection research

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