The Scientific Committee have designed the programme to cover six main themes.

  • Screening technologies and diagnostic markers
  • Estimation of prognosis and identification of individuals at increased risk of cancer
  • Factors associated with stage of diagnosis and clinical outcome
  • All types of therapy and all phases of development and testing

  • Population-based research aimed at understanding causation, incidence, trends, and risk (such as environmental and genetic risk)
  • Research on prevention (for example, lifestyle and nutritional factors), including individual and community interventions

  • Quality and cost of healthcare and coordination of care
  • Development and testing of healthcare delivery methods
  • Access to healthcare including primary care and screening services

  • Public policy issues, ethics and confidentiality
  • Education and communication about cancer
  • Involvement of patients and public in deciding research priorities
  • Patient-led research

  • Living with and beyond cancer: physical, psychological and social impacts and their management
  • Research into care at the end of life

  • Molecular and cellular mechanisms of oncogenesis and tumour suppression
  • The tumour microenvironment
  • Cell biology relevant to cancer

Session types

Plenary lectures

These feature experts from the UK and overseas, invited by the Scientific Committee to give plenary lectures. All have been briefed to give talks that are accessible to a wider audience. Their talks may address a broad area of work, summarise their own research, or discuss an important area of policy relating to cancer. There are plenary lectures on each of the four days of the Conference.


Each symposium comprises three talks from speakers of international standing around a broad theme. The aim is to consider one topic from three different angles, with a mix of disciplinary approaches. A symposium may cover basic, translational and clinical research, or it may reach into areas such as social and behavioural studies, as well as approaches to prevention. Symposia should help the audience see their own work within a broader context of studies beyond their own expertise.

Parallel sessions

These are more specialist sessions that mainly attract professionals in the areas on which they focus. On each day there will be at least one parallel session intended to be accessible to a lay audience, though professionals frequently attend these sessions too.


Workshops are organised on a demand-led basis and vary somewhat in format. Some are educational or commercially-led training sessions, while others debate a hot topic or discuss the availability of research resources such as biosamples or datasets. Workshops are intended to include more audience participation and are essentially discussion forums.

Clinical Trials Showcase

The Scientific Committee select abstracts on clinical trials from those that are submitted. Trials selected for presentation in the Clinical Trials Showcase are often practice-changing, of high quality and/ or are presenting new data.