About the Canary Center at Stanford

Saving Lives through Cancer Early Detection

The Canary Center at Stanford for Cancer Early Detection is committed to fundamental discovery and translation of novel early cancer detection and prognostication strategies. We have brought together scientists, physicians, and engineers to think outside the box to create new solutions for cancer early detection. We envision a two-stage diagnostic strategy to detect cancer at its earliest, most curable stage. This approach consists of a screening test as a first step, to identify individuals who are likely to have aggressive cancer (using biomarker tests in blood, urine, saliva, etc.), followed by a molecular imaging test as a second step, to localize and characterize the cancer. The Canary Center is the first in the world to integrate research on both in vivo and in vitro diagnostics to deliver these tests. A two-stage approach for early cancer diagno-sis is critical to help avoid unnecessary invasive procedures, while still maintaining the sensitivity needed to identify as many instances of cancers as possible. We believe the merger of in vitro diagnostics with in vivo molecular imaging will be the way in which the cancer early detection problem will eventually be solved.

To support our integrated research strategy, the Canary Center houses four state-of-the-art shared resource facilities: (1) Proteomics, (2) Cell and Molecular Biology, (3) Chemistry, and (4) Preclinical Imaging. The Proteomics facility is designed to accommodate numerous technologies including several mass spectrome-try platforms dedicated to the discovery, verification, and validation of biomarkers and imaging targets for early cancer detection. This core includes a Bioinformatics Resource devoted to developing solutions for collaborative translational research, including the implementation of software platforms for specimen track-ing and cross-platform data analysis, sharing, and storage. The Cell and Molecular Biology facility is equipped with cutting-edge shared resources for cell culture, microscopy, and molecular biology. The Chemistry facility is dedicated to the development of molecular imaging agents for multiple modalities, including PET, ultrasound, MRI, photoacoustic, and optical imaging tests. The Preclinical Imaging facility develops infra-structure, expertise, and tools to perform multimodality in vivo imaging primarily for preclinical research.

The Canary Center’s main research areas currently include: cancer biomarker discovery and validation, devel-opment of novel technologies and point-of-care diagnostics, mathematical modeling of cancer, development of new imaging techniques and molecular imaging probes, and translation of new diagnostic approaches into clinical trials. Our world-class research facilities will continue to expand over the next few years as we con-tinue to grow our program and build new partnerships with companies and institutions worldwide. Solving the cancer early detection problem may take many years and we remain committed to making a difference in helping generations yet to come in leading healthier and more fulfilling lives.



Utkan Demirci, PhD
Professor of Radiology and Interim Division Chief, Canary Center

Don Listwin
Founder and Chairman, Canary Foundation

Download the 2018 Canary Center Brochure