Heartburn Cancer UK, in partnership with Project DELTA, are thrilled to announce that our mobile diagnostic unit has entered its third and final phase of the pilot study.  The unit will be located at Hartismere Community Hospital in Eye, for the next few months where GP identified patients will be able to access The Cytosponge test. MDU in Suffolk Location

Whilst the majority of patients have been selected by their GP according to specific criteria, there will be the opportunity for a number of patients to self refer.

If you live in the area and meet the following criteria, you may be eligible...  

  • Are aged 40 or over
  • Are regularly self-medicating with things like Gaviscon for persistent heartburn/acid reflux
  • Don’t have an existing Barrett’s diagnosis
  • Are not currently being investigated/ treated by your GP for these symptoms
  • Have not had an endoscopy in the last five years

Please note: Any patient with a positive result from a Cytosponge procedure will be seen at West Suffolk Hospital for necessary follow-up investigations.   

For more information contact our specialist nurse, Irene on 01223 761085 or email [email protected]

What is The Cytosponge?

The Cytosponge or "Heartburn Sponge Test" is a small capsule on a string which is swallowed by the 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 in a large multi-centre trial.  It’s use in primary care will reduce the need for invasive endoscopies, saving NHS funds and the time of patients and professionals alike.  It will help reduce the backlog in screening caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, increase rates of early diagnosis and ultimately, save lives.

Suffolk is the third of the three locations in the pilot study, which we hope will aid faster diagnosis and help to revolutionise the care of those with persistent heartburn.  

If you would like more information on the test and where you may be able to access it via UK NHS Trusts participating in the NHS England Pilot, take a look at the information available below.  


The Cytosponge in The NHS