A team of five students have come first in the Oxford Foundry’s All-Innovate Competition, winning a prize of £10,000 for developing a new cancer diagnosis platform.

DECancer.AI artificial intelligence detects early cancer through analysis of an affordable blood test and the patient’s medical history, allowing for early treatment and care and increasing the chances of the cancer being cured.

The All-Innovate competition is the first business idea competition held at the University of Oxford, engaging over 200 students from 21 colleges. Each college selected their best teams to go forward to a one-day boot camp. There was also a series of 24 workshops organised by the Foundry, focused on delivering and implementing ideas.

Member of the winning team and DPhil student in Clinical Medicine, Peter Liu, told Cherwell: “The Oxford Foundry provided a fast-paced and multi-disciplinary learning experience on innovation and entrepreneurship through the All-Innovate Idea Competition.

“From the Saturday boot camp for shortlisted teams to the week-long boot camp for finalists, focusing on public speaking, delivering pitches, and implementing ideas, we were challenged to think critically about our start-up and tangible steps to move it forward.”

When asked about the diagnostic platform, Peter Liu told Cherwell: “Cancers with the highest mortality in the world are often diagnosed too late, and early diagnosis saves lives and money for healthcare systems.

“Unfortunately, current diagnostics, including invasive tissue biopsy and complex imagining, cannot detect cancers early. Liquid biopsy offers a solution; it is a blood test that detects cancer materials shed into the blood.”

“DECancer.AI is an artificial intelligence based platform that analyses multi-dimensional liquid biopsy results and personalised patient medical history to detect cancer early.”

By detecting cancers early, the platform would “enable effective cancer treatment at the earliest stage,” Liu explained.

Liu told Cherwell that the team “hopes to do their part in the fight against cancer, providing hope for patients and their families.”

The competition offered two other prizes, for the best undergraduate and postgraduate teams, worth £5,000 each.

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