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“Accelerating the translation of early detection and diagnosis research in cancer” report published by Cancer Research UK and the Academy of Medical Sciences

Posted on 10/08/2018

The report is a summary of a workshop held by the Academy of Medical Sciences and Cancer Research UK on 7th February 2018.

The workshop was attended by over 60 participants from academia and industry, as well as patients, regulators, funders and healthcare professionals.

The workshop was held to address the challenges facing emerging early detection and diagnosis approaches and technologies. Currently the NHS is well equipped for the translation of new therapeutics and disease management techniques into practice, but the pathway for novel cancer detection and diagnostic technologies is poorly defined. In order to address these issues, there needs to be buy-in and commitment from stakeholders from a range of disciplines.

The report is of significance as it provides a way forward for everyone involved in early detection and diagnosis. Outcomes from the workshop which are outlined in the report include:

  • Improving the generation of evidence of early detection and diagnosis research can be achieved through a national repository of samples linked to clinical data, to be made available for the discovery of novel diagnostic assays. This can also be achieved through researchers developing ‘target product profiles’ for emerging technologies.
  • To support the planning and delivery of clinical trials for diagnostics, we need infrastructure for the clinical evaluation of diagnostic tests to provide a stable platform of expertise to accelerate progression to the clinic, equivalent to a Clinical Trials Unit (CTU).
  • To improve the outcomes of screening trials, researchers should risk-stratify populations to increase surveillance of those that benefit from it and decrease surveillance of those that do not.
  • Health service planners need to recognise the real cost-saving benefits of early detection and diagnostic technologies.
  • We need a system change in the NHS to focus more on early detection and diagnosis, rather than treatment, in order to fully capitalise on the disruptive potential of novel cancer diagnostic technologies.
  • We need a roadmap for the translation of early detection and diagnosis tests, as a resource to support researchers through the various stages, and guidelines for evidence generation, diagnostic development, clinical evaluation, and economic viability.

 

You can read the full report here.