2 doctors in hospital looking a scans

Rewriting the story


The challenge

We pay a heavy price for the opportunities we’re missing to prevent cancer, catch it more quickly and precision-engineer treatment for the best results.

The human cost cannot be quantified – unnecessary suffering, fear, lack of hope and time wasted on interventions that won’t work.

Meanwhile the economic cost of cancer treatments is rising by the year.



Around half of all UK patients
diagnosed with cancer will die of
their disease

“I believe we have this at our fingertips: the capacity to extend life and eradicate cancer. But it will take a special place and that place is Cambridge. It will take a special resource and that is Cambridge Cancer.”

Richard Gilbertson
Head of Oncology, University of Cambridge / Director of Cancer Research UK
Cambridge Centre

The unparalleled opportunity for brilliant collaboration will be the beating heart of Cambridge Cancer.


The opportunity

Our new hospital will be situated on Cambridge Biomedical Campus - home to some of the largest and most influential international organisations in life science.


We'll use real-time data from patients actively receiving treatment. Not only to provide personalised precision medicine tailored to their DNA, but to improve care for future generations globally.


In our new 25,000 m2 building, we'll combine modern NHS clinical space with two new research institutes dedicated to fulfilling the ambitions set out in the government's Life Science Strategy and the NHS Long Term Plan. We'll create the optimum environment to deliver ground-breaking results focussing on cancer prevention, early detection and novel treatments.


Insights from the Government's

Life Sciences Industrial Strategy.


"Cambridge is a world- renowned bioscience hotspot that rivals the likes of San Francisco and Boston.  In Cambridge we will be part of the science research hub, surrounded by the most prestigious institutions in the world."

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca

Genome-sequence close up

"Rewriting the story for patients:

early detection,  precision treatment"


Early detection

The genetic and environmental risk factors for cancer are present throughout our lives. But we are often unaware of them, or unable to change them.


For most cancers, earlier diagnosis greatly improves the outcomes of treatment. Cambridge research is poised to radically transform patients' lives through new modes of early diagnosis.


Our pipeline of novel diagnostic devices for cancer is already renowned. But our new hospital will bring forward their use in patients by years.

Rewriting the story

Image by National Cancer Institute of cells

Embedded within the hospital, the National Institute for the Early Detection of Cancer will lead the way in helping advance early cancer detection techniques.

Image by National Cancer Institute of cells

The power of AI will enable personalised medicine in real time to take place like never before. By adopting an integrated approach the Institute for Integrated Cancer Medicine is leading the way, enabling clinicians to offer more precise treatments.


Precision treatment

Cambridge has a distinguished past as the place where "the secret of life" - DNA - was first discovered. Building on its leading genomic expertise, Cambridge Cancer will forge a new way in personalised, precision medicine.


Precision cancer treatment combines DNA sequencing with vast quantities of data from scans and samples to tailor bespoke treatments for patients, and redesign care pathways. Genome sequencing is already part of routine care for NHS patients, and Cambridge's fundamental science expertise remains pivotal in the development of genomic technologies.


The precision story continues, with Illumina, the world leaders of DNA sequencing technology, founded here. The city is home to one of seven NHS genome hubs, the Wellcome Genome Campus and multiple NHS precision cancer programmes.

Different endings

"I believe this trial saved my life. I'm so grateful to everyone involved."

Liz Chipchase, Cambridge patient on a clinical trial for early diagnosis of oesophageal cancer.