Early Detection and Diagnosis Research Committee
Early detection and diagnosis (ED&D) research seeks to detect and diagnose consequential precancerous changes and cancer at the earliest possible point at which an intervention might be made, reducing the burden of late-stage disease.
The Early Detection and Diagnosis Research Committee is responsible for the strategic development, funding and review, oversight and evaluation of the early detection and diagnosis research portfolio. This includes discovery and validation of signatures of early cancer, the development of the technologies to enable this, non-confirmatory clinical trials of ED&D technologies and approaches, ED&D health systems research, research to understand and optimise clinician and public behaviour to enhance ED&D and health economics of ED&D research.
The Early Detection and Diagnosis Research Committee will cover the early detection and diagnosis of precancerous changes, primary cancer and relapse/recurrence.
Research can involve discovery, pre-clinical and/or clinical/translational science which is mindful of the clinical and population context. The Committee will meet twice per year.
Early Detection and Diagnosis Project Awards
20 June 2024
Early Detection and Diagnosis Programme Awards
4 April 2024
Early Detection and Diagnosis Primer Awards
21 March 2024
Early detection and diagnosis (ED&D) research operates across the full pathway of disease development, from the earliest changes suggesting initiation, to dysregulated growth, promotion to pre-neoplastic states/lesions, malignant conversion, and tumour progression. Each of these stages provide an opportunity to detect and diagnose a shift in state and intervene. ED&D can also be applied post-therapy to detect recurrence. ED&D research also seeks to understand and optimise the role of the public/patients, healthcare professionals and healthcare providers, and to develop and evaluate ED&D approaches in a population or clinical context, generating the requisite evidence to change practice.
We fund research in these areas:
- Identification and validation of early detection markers and understanding of disease trajectory in order to prognose and distinguish which precancerous or early lesions will go on to be consequential from those that will not.
- Identification of high-risk groups for early detection and diagnosis research and implementation, including to develop and evaluate novel detection technologies/approaches, or optimise existing technologies/approaches.
- Data/computation-driven approaches to early detection and diagnosis, including biomedical/health informatics, artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches, computational/systems biology, integration of multi-modal data and modelling.
- Development and use of appropriate preclinical model systems (e.g. cellular, organoid, xenograft, animal model) to recapitulate precancerous states and early cancer for marker identification and validation, technology development and distinction of consequential from inconsequential disease.
- Early detection and diagnosis technology development, including exploratory and translational research involving engineering, physical and data science approaches.
- Non-confirmatory clinical trials of early detection/diagnostic technologies or approaches, to enhance earlier detection/diagnosis.
- Health systems research for early detection and diagnosis: research into clinical pathways for diagnosis (including alternative routes to diagnosis), service organisation, impact and delivery, referral pathways etc.
- Research into clinician behaviour and decision support to enhance timeliness and accuracy of cancer diagnosis, including but not limited to understanding natural history of symptoms and key predictive features, enhancing clinician recognition of symptoms and appropriate referral, and decision support technology generation and evaluation.
- Evaluation of impact of early detection and diagnosis policies and interventions to support cancer early detection and diagnosis in practice.
- Research to understand and intervene in the behaviour of the public to enhance early detection and diagnosis, in order to increase symptom recognition/understanding/reporting, presentation to primary care and/or uptake of detection/diagnostic approaches, including the psychological and societal implications. This does not involve behavioural interventions to modify exposure to risk factors such as tobacco use, alcohol etc.
- Research into the health economics of early detection and diagnosis of cancer. Does not include late-stage HTA trials.
How proposals are judged
As part of our commitments to supporting the next generation of researchers and equality, diversity and inclusion in research, we're offering early- to mid-career researchers the opportunity to observe our panel and committee meetings across our funding remit. This scheme will include positive action to offer individuals from underrepresented groups priority places to overcome the underrepresentation that has been highlighted by our diversity data report.
Through this experience we hope you can:
- Understand how grant funding decisions are made to ensure we fund the best quality research
- Develop your own successful research proposals in the future
- Help develop your skills as peer reviewers
- Have the opportunity to give feedback to us to help improve our review processes
Professor Cathie Sudlow - University of Edinburgh
Mr Billy Boyle - Owlstone Medical
Professor Bissan Al-Lazikani - MD Anderson Cancer Center
Professor Claude Chelala - Queen Mary, University of London
Professor Fiona Walter - Queen Mary, University of London
Mr Ally Boyle - Patient and Public Representative
Professor Georgios (Yoryos) Lyratzopoulos - University College London
Professor Greg Rubin - University of Newcastle
Professor Katherine Brain - Cardiff University
Professor Katherine Payne - University of Manchester
Professor Nicky Best - GlaxoSmithKline
Dr Nitzan Rosenfeld - Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute
Ms Lisa Townsend - Patient and Public Representative
Professor Patrick Bossuyt - University of Amsterdam
Professor Sam Janes - University College London
Professor Sara Rossana Zanivan - Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute
Professor Tony Ng - Kings College London
Professor Sudha Sundar - University of Birmingham
Professor Serena Nik-Zainal - University of Cambridge
Professor Zoe Pikramenou - University of Birmingham
Professor Ben Glocker - Imperial College London
Expert Review Panel on Early Detection & Diagnosis Biology, Markers, Technology and Data
Professor Sam Janes – University College London
Professor Bissan Al-Lazikani – MD Anderson Cancer Center
Professor Chris Phillips – Imperial College London
Professor Elinor Sawyer – King's College London
Expert Review Panel on Early Detection & Diagnosis Trials, Behavioural, Health Systems and Health Economics Research
Professor Greg Rubin – University of Newcastle
Professor George Hanna – Imperial College London
Dr Adam Brentnall – Queen Mary, University of London
Professor Katriina Whitaker – University of Surrey
This Panel will be in place to review applications submitted to the forthcoming Project Award and Programme Award deadlines. Its Co-Chairs will be full members of the Early Detection and Diagnosis Research Committee and Prevention and Population Research Committee.
Mr Ally Boyle
Ms Lisa Townsend
Dr Alison Allam
Dr Catherine Biggs
Dr David Crosby
Head of Prevention and Early Detection Research
Tel +44 (0) 20 3469 6086
Dr Talisia Quallo
Research Programme Manager for ED&D markers, technology and data.
Research Programme Manager for ED&D trials, systems and economics.
Research Grants Manager
Research Grants Manager
We've made early detection a strategic priority at an exciting time for this nascent field. With more than just funding, we're helping the field to establish a mature and sustainable community, and realise its full potential to transform how and when cancers are detected and diagnosed.
Recently funded awards
Our annual Early Detection of Cancer Conference, held in partnership with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, provides the perfect opportunity to network and build new collaborations with experts from many different disciplines.
The Early Detection and Diagnosis of Cancer Roadmap aims to unite fragmented efforts across the UK to drive progress in early detection and diagnosis. We’re calling on everyone from researchers and industry, to regulators, the NHS and the public, to combine efforts to realise a future where early detection and diagnosis is a routine reality.