What is the Discovery Programme?

The Discovery Programme aims to transform the diagnosis of cancer and prevent hundreds of unnecessary deaths each year. In partnership with NHS trusts and six Universities, a group of the UK's leading researchers into primary care cancer diagnostics are working together in a five year programme. If successful the programme should transform the diagnosis of cancer and prevent hundreds of unnecessary deaths each year. The programme objectives are to design and test new service pathways to cancer diagnosis which are based on sound medical evidence, make efficient use of resources to take full account of patient views... read more.

Discovery Programme management

The programme is a partnership between the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Bangor, Durham, Oxford, University of Exeter, The National Institute for Health Research and Bristol NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (formally NHS Bristol). The administrative centre of the programme is at University of Bristol... read more.

The Discovery Programme - completed

Following our conference on June 2nd 2015 the official lifespan of the Discovery Programme has come to an end. There are still some research papers which will be published and these will appear on the news page and in the outputs section of this website.

The programme has been a great success and has had a significant impact on cancer diagnosis and this is evident in the new NICE referral guidelines published in 2015. For a summary of the programme and its impact please see our conference programme from June 2015 and the conference PowerPoint slides.

All of the leading researchers in the programme continue to work in the field of cancer diagnostics please follow the links on the team page to see what they are up to.

The contact links on the Discovery webpage remain active so please use these if you have any questions about the programme.

For more news, click here

10th February 2016

New Discovery Research publication

The SYMPTOM Study team's research into symptom appraisal for colorectal cancer has been published in BMJ Open. This is a unique piece of research which compares the appraisal and help seeking experiences of patients with colorectal cancer symptoms who go on to have cancer and those who turn out to have non-cancer conditions. The research did not identify any clear differences between the two groups but did identify important barriers to presentation around the ‘private nature’ of colorectal symptoms which will prove useful to policy makers and the design of awareness campaigns. To read more about the research paper see the results section here.

9th June 2015

Discovery conference slides available & new research publications

The Discovery Programme held its research conference at the Royal College of General Practitioners on June 2nd 2015. The team presented their research findings and outlined the impact of the programme to a wide range of patient groups, clinicians, policy makers, researchers and journalists. The PowerPoint slides used during the presentation have been uploaded to this website and can be viewed here.

There are also 2 new research papers to report. Chantal Balasooriya-Smeekens has published the literature review of her PhD in Psycho-Oncology, "The role of emotions in time to presentation for symptoms suggestive of cancer: a systematic review of quantitative studies". Abstract and publication details are here and further papers from Chantal's PhD will be published soon.

Nafees Din has published a new paper under the Discovery related research umbrella. The paper uses Discovery data drawn from the CAPER (theme 2) studies and considers "Age and Gender Variations in Cancer Diagnostic Intervals in 15 Cancers". Full publication details and abstract can be found here.