Top Ten Research Priorities in Cancer Early Detection: a priority setting partnership between patients and healthcare professionals


Session type:

Ellena Badrick1,Andrew Renehan1,Gen Buckley2,Lindsey Brown2,Katharine Cresswell,3,Phil Crosbie1,Clare Dickinson4,Patricia Elis5,Peter Hall6,James Leighton7,David Makin2,Lee Malcomson4,Richard Martin8,Rebecca Morris1,Helena O’Flynn9,Emma Thorpe4,Emma Crosbie1
1University of Manchester,2Public Contributor,3Manchester Foundation Trust,4Christie Hospital,5James Lind Alliance,6University of Edinburgh,7Greater Manchester Cancer,8University of Bristol,9NHS



There is a need for a rapid push forward in patient-relevant research in cancer early detection (ED) to reduce population-level cancer mortality. Current research might not address questions that need urgent answers for patients and healthcare professionals. A Detecting Cancer Early Priority Setting Partnership (PSP) was established to identify the top research priorities in cancer ED.


Using a modified nominal group methodology established by the James Lind Alliance(JLA), patients, carers and healthcare professionals are surveyed to identify within-scope unanswered research questions relating to cancer ED, which are subsequently shortlisted through further surveys and stakeholder meetings. The shortlisted questions are discussed at a workshop and prioritised into a Top 10.  We established networks of national  and international stakeholders as participants, and linked with CRUK ICED Alliance centres.

The principals of a JLA PSP are: transparency of process; balanced inclusion of patient, carer and clinician perspectives; exclusion of non-clinician researchers from voting; exclusion of groups or organisations that have significant competing interests; and maintained audit trail from original submitted uncertainties to final prioritised list.


We had 514 respondents, including 198 patients and carers, provided 1058 suggestions. These were checked against existing research and duplicates removed, 54 unique unanswered (indicative) research questions were identified as a result.

Between June and July 2019 an online survey will prioritise the long list of questions and approximately 30 of these will be taken forward to a consensus meeting on 4th September 2019.

The final Top 10 list of priorities will be first reported in the UK at the NCRI conference.


The findings of this PSP will be highly informative for determining the ED research agenda. This informs researchers and research funders about priorities so that they can make their research as meaningful as possible to the people who need it.