Integrating Cancer Imaging Biomarker Clinical Research Across the UK

26th March 2020

UK National Cancer Imaging Translational Accelerator (NCITA) establishes infrastructure for validation and adoption of cancer imaging biomarkers as decision-making tools in clinical trials and NHS practice.  


Researchers and medical experts from nine world-leading medical imaging centres across the UK come together to form an integrated infrastructure for standardising and validating cancer imaging biomarkers for clinical use.

The centres include University of Glasgow, University College London, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, King's College London, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College London, Cambridge University and Newcastle University. This unique UK infrastructure provides clinical researchers across the UK with open access to world-class clinical imaging facilities and expertise, as well a repository data management service, artificial intelligence (AI) tools and ongoing training opportunities.

The NCITA consortium, through engagement with NHS Trusts, pharmaceutical companies, medical imaging and nuclear medicine companies as well as funding bodies and patient groups, aims to develop a robust and sustainable imaging biomarker certification process, to revolutionise the speed and accuracy of cancer diagnosis, tumour classification and patient response to treatment.

Professor Hing Leung, Professor of Urology and Surgical Oncology at the University of Glasgow and CRUK Beatson Institute said "NCITA is a great platform to fast track the application of novel imaging tests in patients. We are delighted to be part of NCITA and are coordinating a prostate cancer imaging study for the network."

The NCITA initiative is funded by Cancer Research UK and will receive up to £10 million over 5 years.

The NCITA network is led by Prof Shonit Punwani, Prof James O'Connor, Prof Eric Aboagye, Prof Geoff Higgins, Prof Evis Sala, Prof Dow Mu Koh, Prof Tony Ng, Prof Hing Leung and Prof Ruth Plummer with up to 49 co-investigators supporting the NCITA initiative. NCITA is keen to expand and bring in new academic and industrial partnerships as it develops.

To stay up-to-date with NCITA news, follow NCITA on Twitter and see their website.



To study treatment resistance, we carried out serial 18F-FACBC PET/MRI scans before (left panel) and after (right panel) androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) on a preclinical orthograft model with human CWR22 prostate cancer cells. Image by Drs Rachana Patel and Gaurav Malviya, CRUK Beatson Institute.


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