2014 NCRI Cancer Conference

2 - 5 November 2014
The BT Convention Centre Liverpool UK


The UK Early Cancer Detection Consortium - Building the evidence base of blood-based biomarkers for early detection of cancer

Ian Cree1, Lesley Uttley2, Sue Harnan2, Becky Whiteman1,3,
1University of Warwick, Coventry, UK,2University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK,3Coventry University, Coventry, UK,


UK rates of early cancer detection are lower than in many other western countries and survival remains relatively poor.  At present early (pre-symptomatic) cancer detection is limited to cases identified through specific national screening programmes or via incidental radiological findings.  In 2012, fifteen UK universities established an Early Cancer Detection (ECDC) Consortium to identify, validate and implement new generic blood tests for early tumour detection.  Funded by Cancer Research UK, work package one aims to identify the evidence base of blood-based biomarkers for early detection of cancer.


A systematic mapping review is being undertaken to establish "What biomarkers exist that could be used to develop a general cancer screening assay from blood sampling and what is their state of development?"

Electronic searches of several relevant databases were conducted in May 2014. Screening for relevant biomarkers is being undertaken by one reviewer using a process of "data mining" within the database of retrieved references. All blood based biomarkers, their relevant properties and characteristics, and their corresponding references are entered into a comprehensive database for further scrutiny by the Early Cancer Detection Consortium, and subsequent selection of biomarkers for rapid review.


Over 19,000 papers have been identified by the initial searches.  Data mining has identified over 800 blood-based biomarkers.  Each technology will be tabulated separately to summarise the available data and data sources for consideration by the consortium at its Autumn meeting in October 2014.


This abstract will outline the key findings of the systematic review, and the discussion at the Consortium's Autumn 2014 meeting. The deliberations of the consortium will form the basis of a narrative synthesis of the results, and prepare for the next stage of the blood test development as it moves forward into clinical laboratory based test.


The Authors would like to thank and to acknowledge Cancer Research UK for funding this programme of work and to the UK Early Cancer Detection Consortium constituent members for supporting the Consortium's work to date.


References to go here