Workshop on the Early Detection of Cancer

Early Detection and Diagnosis of Cancer Roadmap – Building bridges for collaboration and impact

Registration deadline 4th February 2020. Please register now to avoid disappointment!


Early Detection and Diagnosis of Cancer Roadmap – Building bridges for collaboration and impact

EPSRC Fast Assessment and Treatment in Healthcare (FAST Healthcare) NetworksPlus and Cancer Research UK are joining forces to deliver a multidisciplinary workshop that aims at exploring and finding solutions to some of the key challenges in the early detection and diagnosis of cancer. This workshop builds on previous work by Cancer Research UK in developing a Roadmap outlining opportunities in this field and recommendations for action to help achieve meaningful patient impact.


Who is EPSRC Fast Assessment and Treatment in Healthcare (FAST Healthcare) NetworksPlus?

The EPSRC Fast Assessment and Treatment in Healthcare (FAST Healthcare) NetworksPlus is a Network of academics, clinicians and industrialists that aims to promote joined-up treatment in public health by taking a holistic view of clinical assessment and treatment pathways and developing solutions that deliver real impact on clinical treatment processes and patient outcomes. We will achieve this by initiating new research collaborations in the engineering and physical sciences community in the UK.


Who is Cancer Research UK?

Cancer Research UK is the world’s largest independent cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. It supports research into all aspects of cancer and this is achieved through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses. Cancer Research UK wants to accelerate progress so that three in four people survive their cancer for 10 years or more by 2034.


The clinical challenge

Earlier diagnosis of cancer offers the greatest potential for transformational improvements in patient outcomes. The chances of survival are increased significantly for almost all patient groups if the disease can be diagnosed and treated at an early stage. For example, a patient diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer has over 70% chance of survival beyond one year. This drops to less than 15% if diagnosed at stage 4.

FAST Healthcare NetworkPlus and Cancer Research UK are inviting participants from across disciplines to integrate their skills and expertise to work collaboratively to tackle this challenge. Cancer Research UK previously brought together experts across different sectors in 2019 to help develop an Early Detection and Diagnosis of Cancer Roadmap. This Roadmap aims to define a shared vision for early detection and diagnosis of cancer and provide a series of concrete actions that will help the field progress from the current reality to this shared vision. One of the key outputs from this Roadmap is a set of prioritised research interventions each addressing a well-defined early detection challenge. The recommendations made by the Roadmap are intended to shape not only CRUK’s early detection and diagnosis strategy, but the field at large.

 Aims of this workshop

Through the workshop FAST Healthcare NetworkPlus, supported by Cancer Research UK, seek to integrate an engineering and physical sciences approach to selected prioritised research interventions from the Roadmap to help achieve progress. Details of these areas will be advertised before the workshop.  Attendees will be invited to indicate which of the three areas they are particularly interested in.

This will be a one-day workshop on 18 February 2020 at the Cambridge Clinical School in collaboration with their Early Detection Programme. We will welcome up to 40 participants who will attend three sessions on the day.

Session 1: This session will comprise a series of brief talks outlining the overarching vision of the Early Detection and Diagnosis of Cancer Roadmap and will introduce the prioritised research interventions that will be discussed at the workshop.

Session 2: This session will bring together small groups of participants to further refine existing research pathways and build new research pathways when applicable for the areas covered by the prioritised research interventions. The pathway will take the form of the three-plane research diagrams that have previously been used by the FAST Healthcare NetworksPlus

Session 3: The third session will focus on consortium building to address the research pathways and talks on some of the key challenges of translating technologies in this field.

After the workshop, the day’s discussion and the research pathways will be written up as an open access report available for download from the FAST website.

Who should attend ?  

We welcome participants from across a variety of different backgrounds including representatives from the UK’s clinical and academic engineering and physical sciences and the UK’s industrial communities. You can apply to attend the workshop at .  We anticipate demand for places exceeding the number of places which are available, so please apply at your earliest convenience.  Academic and other non-commercial participants from within the UK will be eligible to have reasonable travel expenses reimbursed (subject to the University of Cambridge’s normal conditions).  The workshop will take place at Robinson College, Cambridge.

Who is organising the Workshop?  

The Workshop is being put together by Professor Andrew Flewitt (Engineering Department, Cambridge University) for the EPSRC Fast Assessment and Treatment NetworksPlus in collaboration with the Early Detection team from Cancer Research UK and Wendy Alderton from the CRUK Cambridge Centre.

Confirmed speakers include: 

Brendan Delaney, Imperial College, London
Adam Brentnall, Alan Turing Institute, London
Vanessa Diaz, University College London
Marc van der Schee, Owlstone, Cambridge

For more information on this workshop, please contact


Cancer workshop flyer