HCUK are proud sponsors of The Cytosponge primary care pilot and have funded the mobile diagnostic unit which has facilitated this essential element of DELTA's study, despite the pandemic. 

This short video explains the benefits of The Cytosponge, as told by cancer survivors Liz and Allan, together with research nurse Irene Debiram.  It explains how the device works, how it will aid early detection and why access to screening for Barrett's oesophagus and oesophageal cancer in the community is so important.

We have covered The Cytosponge in our news section recently, but for those of you who aren't familiar with it, here's some further information about this innovative screening device.  

What is the Cytosponge?

The Cytosponge is a pill on the end of a piece of string.  The pill is swallowed with a drink of water and left to dissolve in the stomach for about 7 1/2 minutes.  During this time the gelatin capsule dissolves to reveal a small sponge which is then pulled back up the oesophagus/food pipe collecting around one million cells in the process.  The sponge will then go to a lab for testing. 

Our hope is that, following the completion of necessary research, The Cytosponge will be available in GP surgeries throughout the UK.  The 'Sponge on a string' is a less invasive way to diagnose and monitor Barrett's oesophagus when compared to the current best practice of endoscopy and means that this procedure can be reserved for those who need it if further investigation is required following a positive cytosponge test. 

The pictures below demonstrate the differences in the two procedures.

For more information on The Cytosponge and our Mobile Diagnostic Unit please visit the HCUK News page.