International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection

International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection

We have a bold ambition to accelerate and revolutionise research in the early detection of cancers by harnessing some of the best science across the UK and US.

The International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) is a new £55 million partnership between Cancer Research UK, the Canary Center at Stanford University, the University of Cambridge, the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU, University College London and the University of Manchester.

We are uniting world leading researchers to tackle the biggest challenges in early detection, an important area of unmet clinical need. Scientists in the Alliance are working together at the forefront of technological innovation to translate research into realistic ways to improve cancer diagnosis, which can be implemented into health systems and meaningfully benefit people with cancer.

International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection

Why we created the Alliance

Earlier detection of cancer offers the greatest potential for transformational improvements in patient outcomes. We know that when cancer is diagnosed earlier it's easier to treat, and causes patients to suffer less and live longer. But like looking for a needle in a haystack, the minute size of early tumours and the very low levels of tell-tale early cancer signs makes it incredibly difficult to detect cancer early.

For several decades, progress in early detection research has been limited by the unique scientific and clinical challenges of this field:

  • Early detection research hasn't been prioritised and visibility of the field is low, restricting career development opportunities
  • Fragmentation of the research community with few mechanisms to coordinate research, share discoveries and accelerate progress across institutions
  • Lack of a clear model for industry collaboration
  • Access to critical resources such as early disease tissue samples and longitudinal patient data

ACED Governance

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, University of Cambridge

Professor Rob Bristow, University of Manchester

Professor Utkan Demirci, Stanford University

Professor Mark Emberton, University College London

Professor Sadik Esener, Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU

Professor Maria Goddard, University of York

Dr Laxmi Parida, IBM Fellow

Professor Shana O. Kelley, Northwestern University

Sir David Lane, Karolinska Institute

Dr Roderic Pettigrew, Texas A&M University

Professor Josephine Bunch, National Physical Laboratory

Professor Stephen Friend, University of Oxford

Professor Amanda Cross, Imperial College London

ACED publications and news

Newspaper icon

Sara Benitez Majano et al. Do presenting symptoms, use of pre-diagnostic endoscopy and risk of emergency cancer diagnosis vary by comorbidity burden and type in patients with colorectal cancer? British Journal of Cancer. 05 November 2021.

Becky White et al. Does changing healthcare use signal opportunities for earlier detection of cancer? A review of studies using information from electronic patient records. Cancer Epidemiology. 01 February 2022.

Yaozhi Lu et al. Deep Learning-Based Long Term Mortality Prediction in the National Lung Screening Trial. IEEE Access. 24 March 2022.

Hannah Harrison et al. The current state of genetic risk models for the development of kidney cancer: a review and validation. BJU International. 22 April 2022.

Stephanie Archer et al. Personalised Risk Prediction in Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer: A Protocol for a Multi-Centre Randomised Controlled Trial. Cancers (Basel). 31 May 2022.

Early career researchers

Acing it: The ambitious early career researchers driving progress in cancer early detection

We meet four inspiring ACED PhD students carrying out research that could transform the ways in which we diagnose cancer in the future.

3d illustration of molecule model.

ACED one year on: a promising first year for the early detection research alliance

One year on, we look at four recently awarded research projects, which show how the Alliance is building a scientifically diverse and collaborative research community in the UK and the US.

Contact us

If you’re interested in hearing more about ACED, have a question about funding opportunities for collaborative research, or would like to discuss a strategic academic or industrial partnership, we’d love to hear from you.

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More early detection research opportunities

Early detection research

At CRUK, early detection of cancer is one of our top priorities and we have funding and other support to help you develop your early detection research, whether you're established in the field, early in your career, or applying your research to early detection for the first time.