Diagnosis of oesophageal cancer is currently only possible through an invasive and expensive hospital procedure called endoscopy.  HCUK are very excited to be involved in a project which introduces an alternative solution, The Cytosponge, a screening test which is designed for use in a community setting such as a GP surgery or nurse-led clinic.  This simple test is vital to supporting earlier diagnosis and helping prevent oesophageal cancer.

The Cytosponge

The Cytosponge is a small capsule on a string which is swallowed by a patient.  It expands in the stomach to form a sponge and is then removed a few minutes later, collecting cells from the inner lining of the oesophagus.  The test has been developed at the University of Cambridge and has been rigorously tested and shown to be safe and acceptable to thousands of patients. 

Funds raised for this project will enable us to purchase a specialist mobile diagnostic unit which will pilot the use of this exciting and innovative test following referral from a GP to the unit.  The pilot project will start in Cambridgeshire, with two further locations to be confirmed.  Our plan is for this to allow us to go on to establish an ongoing mobile screening service in a much wider area.

Available evidence suggests that appropriate use of the Cytosponge could reduce rates of oesophageal cancer by up to 50% and that NHS cost savings of 50% could be made in comparison to screening using endoscopy.

Supporting this exciting and forward-thinking project will increase early diagnosis, reduce NHS spending and save lives!  We can't thank you enough for your donation.