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Oxford’s early detection research was featured at this annual event.

Early Detection of Cancer Conference

The annual Early Detection of Cancer Conference is organised by Cancer Research UK, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and the Canary Center at Stanford to bring together experts in early detection from multiple disciplines to share ground-breaking research and progress in the field.

This year, more than 30 Oxford researchers participated in the virtual conference that ran from 6-8th October. The conference included sessions on Windows of Opportunity for Early Cancer Detection, Leveraging Risk Stratification for Early Detection, the Future of Designing and Delivering Early Detection Trials, and Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Early Detection.


As an early career researcher, I found it eye-opening and motivating to see so many researchers working together to solve the current problem. The conference really showcased the importance of early detection - Pradeep Virdee, DPhil student at the Centre for Statistics in Medicine, NDORMS

Featuring OxCODE research

Three OxCODE researchers presented their work at the meeting:

  • Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox (Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences) described how her team use detailed patient records to develop risk stratification algorithms to target cancer screening resources to people at highest risk who are most likely to benefit from interventions.
  • Dr Christiana Kartsonaki (Nuffield Department of Population Health) presented a poster on blood proteomics for predicting risk of pancreatic cancer. She highlighted the work she is doing within the China Kadoorie Biobank that aims to identify blood-based protein markers that associate with future pancreatic cancer risk.
  • Pradeep Virdee (Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences) presented a poster on trends over time in the full blood count test for colorectal cancer. He has identified several parameters in the full blood count that differ up to 4 years in advance of a colorectal cancer diagnosis.


I really enjoyed the Early Detection of Cancer Conference 2020, particularly the session on leveraging risk stratification for early detection which was very relevant to our research on identifying biomarkers to predict risk of pancreatic cancer. I also really liked the thought-provoking debates on important issues, such as whether new early detection approaches must have evidence from more than one randomised controlled trial showing a benefit in cancer-specific mortality before being used clinically. - Dr Christiana Kartsonaki, Senior Statistician at the Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health

 The next conference will take place on 6-8th October 2021.