Programmes overview

The Centre supports a broad range of cross-cutting programmes including large population studies of cancer risk, developing novel imaging techniques to detect and monitor cancer, and understanding what goes wrong inside tumour cells. Academic and clinical researchers from different University departments and research institutes are encouraged to collaborate on research projects with the aim of stimulating new approaches and novel research methods for tackling the challenges of cancer science.

The Centre supports 12 major interdisciplinary research programmes...
The CRUK Cambridge Centre is developing novel technologies to look inside cancer cells. Imaging plays an increasingly important role in our translational priorities of drug development, through ‘first-in-man’ experimental medicine studies, with parallel studies in pre-clinical models, and in early detection. The aim of advancing imaging technologies and applications draws on Cambridge’s strengths...
Two intestinal tumours from a homozygous confetti mouse
Lung and bowel cancer are the two most common forms of cancer death in the UK, so discovering new ways to diagnose, monitor and treat aerodigestive malignancies is a key priority for the CRUK Cambridge Centre. To improve survival rates, patients need to be identified when their disease is at an early or even pre-cancerous stage. Our research strategy therefore focuses on prevention, early...
Every year around 50,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the UK. Five out of six women with breast cancer in England and Wales survive for at least five years; however, around 1,000 UK women still die of breast cancer every month. Breast cancer research in Cambridge is aiming to increase the survival rate through large-scale population studies to determine which genes are responsible...
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A major research focus across the CRUK Cambridge Centre is furthering our understanding of the molecular and cellular structure of pre-cancerous cells so that patients at risk of developing cancer are identified earlier. Researchers and clinicians work together to apply scientific discoveries to the clinic, through finding new ways of detecting cancer as early as possible and developing...
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10 year survival by stage at diagnosis
Early diagnosis and intervention is a key priority and addressing this requires a unique combination of genetic epidemiology, coupled with strengths in genomics, epithelial biology, imaging, mouse models, and computational and systems biology. Understanding the basic biological events that precede invasive disease also requires a combination of approaches and disciplines. Taking this research...
The investigation of haematological malignancies (cancers of the blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes) represents a significant area of clinical and research activity. Our understanding of how and why blood cancers develop is underpinned by basic research into how blood cells develop normally and what happens at the earliest stage of malignancy. Research is closely aligned with clinical treatment...
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The Neuro-Oncology Programme is a network of researchers and clinicians in Cambridge working in brain tumour research. Research is focused on understanding the different types of brain tumours that develop in both adults and children, finding the most effective ways of diagnosing brain tumours as early as possible, developing new treatments and monitoring how tumours are responding to treatment...
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The translation of new discoveries in the laboratory into better treatments for patients is a priority for the CRUK Cambridge Centre. The Onco-Innovation programme, delivered by the Milner Therapeutics Institute, sits at the interface between academia and industry, focused on the conversion of multidisciplinary academic science to commercial and therapeutic applications. Programme members include...
Advanced ovarian cancer is difficult to cure. Most patients are free of the disease after completing initial surgery and chemotherapy but the cancer usually comes back. This is because resistance to chemotherapy develops. Scientists are studying the genetic changes that occur in tumours to understand what causes cancer cells to become resistant to drugs. They are also using new imaging technology...
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The most common childhood cancers are cancers of the blood (leukaemias and lymphomas), brain, and central nervous system, accounting for over two thirds of the cancers diagnosed in children. Between 2014–2016, around 1,800 children were diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK. More than 8 in 10 children now survive five years or more, compared to 3 in 10 in the 1960s. Consequently, much...
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths. Less than 20% of patients are candidates for surgery at diagnosis. There are few available treatment options for the remaining patients, and so most survive for only a few months. These needs are driving our research and clinical focus at Cambridge. Scientists are involved in research into the biology of pancreatic cancer,...
Prostate and renal cancers are key contributors of cancer related death and morbidity. Early detection and optimal primary treatment improves cure rates and reduces progression to metastasis in both cancer types. Our Clinicians and scientists have developed closely integrated multi-disciplinary research themes including; exploring new markers and imaging for early detection, better modelling of...
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