Rebecca Fitzgerald is Awarded the Don Listwin Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Early Detection

Rebecca Fitzgerald

Photo Credit: University of Cambridge

October 7, 2021

Clinician scientist, Rebecca Fitzgerald, has received the Don Listwin Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Early Detection at the 2021 Early Detection of Cancer Conference. Rebecca is currently the Interim Director of the MRC Cancer Unit, Hutchison-MRC Research Centre, Professor of Cancer Prevention, and a Clinician Scientist leading research in the early detection of cancer for the University of Cambridge and the Cancer Research UK Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED). 

On receiving the award, Rebecca has paid credit to her team: “I am so honored to be chosen for the 2021 Don Listwin Award and would like to thank all my fabulous team members who have believed in the early detection concept. We have still got a long way to go – but together we will make late diagnosis of cancer a thing of the past.”

The Don Listwin Award recognizes a sustained contribution to, or singular achievement in, the cancer early detection field. The award, established in 2019, is named in honor of Don Listwin, founder and chairman of The Canary Foundation. 

Rebecca is known for the development of the Cytosponge technology, a sponge on a string that patients can swallow instead of undergoing an endoscopy. The Cytosponge collects cells from the oesophagus for use in a test which can flag the presence of TFF3-positive cells indicative of Barrett’s oesophagus, a precursor to oesophageal cancer.

Rebecca and her team have recently published work demonstrating that Cytosponge increases the identification of Barrett’s in individuals with frequent heart-burn symptoms by 10-fold compared to standard of care. The building of evidence for its clinical implementation for surveillance of high-risk individuals and in endoscopy sparing due to COVID-19 related pressures on health systems, continues to make a vital impact to patients’ lives.

Case Study Diagram Cytosponge Timeline