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To celebrate the launch of the UK’s first CRUK clinical trials unit dedicated to cancer precision prevention in Oxford, we held a research symposium that highlighted the spectra of Cancer Precision Prevention clinical programmes across the UK.

On Monday 13th November 2023, 160 academic researchers and representatives from industry, charities and our patient and public involvement group gathered at St Hilda’s College, Oxford for a day of talks on cancer precision prevention research. This area of research uses mechanistic insights into cancer risk and tumourigenesis to develop biologically targeted preventative interventions.

Following a successful funding application to Cancer Research UK in 2022, Oxford’s Oncology Clinical Trials Office (OCTO), in partnership with the Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit, is now a member of CRUK’s clinical trials network and specialises in designing and conducting precision prevention and early detection trials. Oxford is committed to running this as a national initiative with a broad range of collaborators, many of whom were invited to speak at this event.

The sessions featured talks on precision prevention research programmes in lung, gynaecological and gastrointestinal cancers and a keynote talk from Dr Eva Szabo, Chief of Lung and Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Research Group and Director of the Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Network at the NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention.

On opening the event, Professor Sarah Blagden, Director of OCTO and Oxford lead for precision prevention research said, “We recognise that these clinical trials need to start somewhere. The challenge we put to you today is to seed the ideas for the next generation of preventative interventions that can be tested and delivered into the clinic over the next 5-10 years.” After a day of stimulating talks and discussions, we have made progress towards this ambition.