doctor regulating scanner in hospital

Research which saves lives

A world-leading facility

Pipette Inserted Into Test Tube

The Institute will include an innovation hub – a world-leading facility designed to transcend traditional boundaries of biomedicine, physics and engineering for the incubation of new ideas.

This will enable first-in-human testing of early detection methods.

National Institute for the Early Detection of Cancer (NIEDC)

Embedded within Cambridge Cancer, the NIEDC will lead collaborations to:

- understand the very earliest stages of cancer development

- invent minimally invasive ways of screening and detecting early cancers

- conduct early detection and intervention clinical trials, including provision for primary care research

- accelerate validation, commercialisation and implementation of novel devices for early detection of cancer

A specialist early detection and cancer prevention clinic will help patients at high risk of developing cancer to rewrite their story from a young age and significantly improve outcomes over their lifetime.

Harnessing the power of AI

Institute for
Cancer Medicine

Traditionally, each research trial would analyse different biological samples from patients, producing vast amounts of information. Their trial results would be kept separate from clinical decision-making, and reported on at a later date.


In a move which will harness the vast fire-power of super-computers, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), multi-disciplinary teams at the Institute for Integrated Cancer Medicine will manipulate entire data clouds from each type of analysis for each individual patient in real time.


This will reveal the most significant factors at that moment, enabling clinicians to provide the most accurate treatment at any given time.

The power of AI will enable personalised medicine in real time to take place like never before. This integrated approach will be a game-changer for us all.

of cells by National Cancer Institute

Models show more than £1.6 billion in NHS savings could be achieved through precision pathways.

Everybody is different

Personalised Breast Cancer Programme 

Cambridge is home to the world's first precision breast cancer programme (PBCP).


Whole genome and ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing is carried out on all patients with breast cancer who are treated at Cambridge University Hospitals. This data is integrated into NHS patient medical records, discussed by doctors, and used to guide patient care decisions.


A recent study of more than 300 cancer patients showed 60 percent had their treatment changed as a direct consequence of tumour genomic data.


The PBCP is a partnership between The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, Cancer Research UK, Illumina and AstraZeneca and is soon to be extended to cover pancreatic, renal and ovarian cancers.

colourful abstract Image by National Cancer Institute

We offer routine whole genome (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing of all women and men with breast cancer treated at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Finding new treatments

Liquid Biopsies

Cambridge scientists created a new way of looking at tumour evolution by monitoring changes in DNA found in patients’ blood. This research led to a spinout from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and the University of Cambridge, Inivata Ltd, a clinical cancer genomics company harnessing the potential of circulating tumour DNA analysis.

Use of these non-invasive liquid biopsies means scientists can screen many more genes in the blood to test what may explain resistance to treatment.


The low cost and high acceptability of a blood sample means this can be done across thousands of patients – a vital step in discovering reliable clinical biomarkers.

image of colourfull cells by National Cancer Institute

The ability to track how tumours evolve and develop drug resistance in real time is an important step in identifying new, effective treatments for cancer.