Project information

Centre of Excellence for Autoimmunity in Cancer

Professor Robertson leads CEAC and developed the world’s first blood test for lung cancer. This project will develop new blood tests to detect breast and colon cancer. This will lead to more lives being saved through treatment of patients before tumours have spread.

December 2015 - December 2020

Charity information: The University of Nottingham Impact Campaign

The University of Nottingham Impact Campaign logo
  • Need

    Need

    Worldwide, the number of new cases of cancer is expected to double by 2030. Breast cancer and bowel cancer are the second and third most common types, after lung cancer. Some screening tests are available for breast and bowel cancer but they are limited in their effectiveness and are based on detecting cancers once symptoms have appeared. Our project will design new tests which will mean these cancers can be detected much earlier.

    Solution

    We will develop blood tests which detect anti-bodies. This allows cancer to be detected at a much earlier stage, improving the likelihood of survival and allowing less aggressive treatments to be used. The blood tests are also much cheaper to administer and more convenient for patients, younger and older. Unlike mammograms, blood tests for breast cancer should work in pre-menopausal women just as well as in post-menopausal women.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Establishing a programme to assess the value of a wide range of Tumour-Associated Antigens (TAAs)

    Activities

    » Recruit staff, purchase equipment, conduct tests and monitor results.

    Blood tests will be developed to detect autoantibodies indicating early stage cancer.


    Aim 2

    Find and produce the right set of proteins in the lab to detect autoantibodies in a blood test

    Activities

    » Use high throughput (HTP) screening technology to assess multiple proteins at the same time

    Tests will be conducted and data analysed to identify the correct proteins.


    Aim 3

    Improvement in the format of the early detection test already developed for lung cancer

    Activities

    » Developing a second version of the test which uses a much smaller volume.

    The test will be able to use a reduced volume of blood, and still achieve the same success in detecting cancer cells


    Aim 4

    Identify, engage, nurture and support talented scientists who are the future of cancer research

    Activities

    » Educate and train young scientists in understanding the immune systems response to cancer and how this can be harnessed both for earlier detection
    » Establish a research centre of excellence which will both lead to national and international collaborations and help train the next generation

    We will deliver our findings from translational and discovery science into benefits for patients to improve health


  • Impact

    Impact

    CEAC will focus its research on early detection and treatment of cancer which would save lives and improve the quality of lives too. Its cutting edge research has the enormous potential to benefit society not only within the UK but also globally.

    Risk

    There is a risk that we cannot attract the specialist staff to work on the project, and we may not keep abreast of all other related scientific developments. We have countered this by having extensive international collaborations with research groups in North America, Europe and Asia. This will ensure we can attract the most talented scientists to the project, and share results and progress in all related disciplines.

    Reporting

    Donors to this project will receive a bi-annual email report on the project detailing the ongoing and forthcoming activities and any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £33,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £25,000 Data Manager To collate and enter all data relating to the project
      £8,000 Plate and micro centrifuges To speed up the process of collecting DNA from the samples
  • Background

    Location

    The world’s first Centre of Excellence for Autoimmunity in Cancer (CEAC) was established at The University of Nottingham in 2011. Professor Robertson and the University of Nottingham have been at the forefront of the field for the last 15+ years and remain so. Indeed there are no other UK universities which have such an internationally know research group focussed on this area. Professor Robertson and his team developed the world’s first blood test for lung cancer.

    Beneficiaries

    Many groups stand to benefit from the work of CEAC but the primary benefit would be in improving the health of the nation through significant improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in a cost effective way.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The world’s first Centre of Excellence for Autoimmunity in Cancer (CEAC) was established at The University of Nottingham in 2011. Professor Robertson and the University of Nottingham have been at the forefront of the field for the last 15+ years and remain so. Indeed there are no other UK universities which have such an internationally know research group focussed on this area. Professor Robertson and his team developed the world’s first blood test for lung cancer.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.

    People

    Professor John Robertson

    Leads the project. He developed the world’s first blood test that has been proven to effectively detect early lung cancer and is saving lives.

“A landmark in cancer detection. Its beauty is its simplicity”.

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer