Systematic Reviews to Underpin the Development of a Blood Test for Cancer. [FUNDER: Cancer Research UK].

  • Cree, Ian (Principal Investigator)
  • Szczepura, Ala (Principal Investigator)
  • Whiteman, Becky (Co-Investigator)
  • Savage, Richard (Co-Investigator)
  • Cox, Angela (Co-Investigator)
  • Chapman, Caroline (Co-Investigator)
  • Whetton , Tony (Co-Investigator)
  • Shaw, Jacqui (Co-Investigator)
  • Messenger, Michael (Co-Investigator)
  • Teare, Dawn (Co-Investigator)
  • Gozde Ozakinci , Gozde Ozakinci (Co-Investigator)

Project: Research

Project Details


PROJECT FUNDING: Cancer Research UK. £115,497

There is substantial evidence that diagnosis of cancer at an early stage can lead to improved survival, but there is scope for significant improvement in early detection. It may be feasible to develop a high-sensitivity general screen for cancer using multiple proteins and nucleic acids present in the blood of cancer patients, based on the biological characteristics of cancer. Positive samples from the general screen could be submitted automatically for secondary screening using tests to further define the likelihood of cancer and provide some indication of its type. Only those tested and found to be at high risk through this process would be referred for further clinical assessment to permit early treatment and mitigate potential over-diagnosis.

A rapid systematic mapping review was 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?”

In addition, population and individual considerations for implementation are being examined through:
• a systematic review of the available evidence to determine the acceptability to patients.
• a draft economic model to explore the likely costs and the potential impact on patient outcomes (including treatment, quality of life, morbidity and mortality) of a generic screen for cancer in a UK population.
• a Delphi exercise to explore acceptability to the NHS of widespread adoption of a general screen for cancer using a single blood test, including key implementation issues.

Success could rewrite cancer pathways and make cancer a survivable disease for the majority of patients.
Short titleECDC Review
Effective start/end date1/02/141/08/16

Collaborative partners

  • Coventry University (lead)
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Leicester
  • St James University Hospital
  • University of St Andrews


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