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Department of Oncology



Many congratulations to Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald for being awarded an OBE in the 2022 Queen's Jubilee Birthday Honours List.

Prof Rebecca Fitzgerald, Director of CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Cancer Institute and Research Group Leader with the Department of Oncology, has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to cancer research.

Rebecca has led pioneering advances in research and technological innovation to detect cancer earlier in order to improve outcomes for cancer patients. 

Her research is focused on developing new ways to detect oesophageal cancer early.

Working with her team at the University of Cambridge, she invented the Cytosponge. This ‘sponge on a string’ test detects 10 times more cases of Barrett’s oesophagus, a condition that can sometimes lead to oesophageal cancer, compared with routine GP care.

The Cytosponge is now licensed for use in NHS Scotland, helping tackle backlogs in cancer care caused by the pandemic.

Millions of pounds in funding has recently been announced for a trial that could pave the way for a ‘sponge on a string’ test to be established as a routine screening programme across the UK to detect Barrett’s oesophagus.