The Oxford Centre for Early Cancer Detection (OxCODE), launched in 2019 under the directorship of Professor Xin Lu, is a multi-disciplinary community of Oxford-based researchers and clinicians with interests in early cancer detection research. OxCODE works under the umbrella of Oxford Cancer to coordinate the city's early cancer detection research.
What is early detection?
- Early detection is the detection of cancer at the earliest possible stage, when the disease is easiest to treat.
- Early detection looks to identify those few people at risk of cancer within the larger population, and to assess the best possible actions for those people.
- Cancers can be detected earlier through a number of approaches, including screening programmes across the population, surveillance of people with high-risk conditions and individual personal education to support early diagnosis of warning signs for potential cancer.
Why is early detection important?
- When cancer is found earlier, it can be easier to treat successfully – often requiring fewer complex and expensive treatments.
- The chance of survival is higher for early stage cancers but currently, nearly half of all cancers in England are diagnosed at an advanced stage.
- Our research aims to help identify cancers earlier so that more patients can benefit from treatment which is likely to cure them, with fewer adverse side effects, and a reduction in the economic burden of advanced cancer.
- By understanding more about early cancer biology, we aim to design approaches that identify people at higher risk of developing cancer and to develop targeted interventions to prevent cancer developing in these individuals.