Early Detection Conference 2023

attendees at the Early Detection Conference 2023

Members of our Patient Involvement Network and team went along to the annual Early Detection of Cancer Conference from 10-12 October in London. The conference is organised by Cancer Research UK in partnership with Canary Centre at Stanford and OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. 

This annual conference brings together researchers from different fields and the patient/public community to talk about the biggest challenges in early detection research. Topics including the causes of disparities in cancer detection throughout the UK and ways to address them were discussed with the 500 attendees. They also spoke about the potential to use data science better in early detection research.



The PPI session got lots of mentions in the feedback – with several audience members picking it out as the most enjoyed part - and wanting to see more of it next year! Thanks for your involvement.

Victoria Walker, Research Project Manager for Early Detection & Prevention at Cancer Research UK



Three patient representatives delivered a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)-focussed panel session to highlight its importance. This was co-chaired by Professor Fiona Walter (member of our CRUK Early Detection Committee) and by Jamil Rivers, Patient Advocate in the USA, and CEO and Founder at The Chrysalis Initiative. The session was aimed towards the scientific community, to enable them to learn about what is important when it comes to Patient and Public Involvement (PPI).



"PPI is just about having a conversation, that's all it is." 

Richard Stephens , Involvement Network member and speaker at the PPI Panel discussion



Breaking down barriers and tackling concerns about doing PPI was essential to Fiona, Jamil, and the panel members involved. They began the session discussing how researchers can “start a conversation” with people who have experience of cancer right at the start of their work. They also reminded attendees that patient involvement can and does benefit research directly and, ultimately, will impact cancer patients and treatment outcomes.



At the heart of all this is the question of relationships, of honest and straightforward dialogue.

Angela King, Involvement Network member and speaker at the PPI Panel discussion.



The patient representatives shared fantastic ideas based on their own work and personal experiences of being involved in research for years. They achieved their goal of starting the PPI conversation at the conference and the delegate feedback highlighted how valuable and important the session had been. They stressed the importance of gaining people’s trust first and foremost, of having a two-way conversation, and of going out into the community in order to reach them.

We look forward to attending next years conference.



We were excited to see fantastic audience engagement throughout the panel and wider conference, with researchers taking the opportunity to ask questions to better understand PPI, and how to include it in their research. The patient representatives demystified the PPI process, explaining that researchers need to think about PPI in different ways, and consider that not everyone wants to be involved in the same way.

Victoria Walker, Research Project Manager for Early Detection & Prevention at Cancer Research UK