Cambridge GPs to host UK's first heartburn cancer test unit

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson

A 'game-changing' test developed in Cambridge to spot the early warning signs of oesophageal cancer is to be made available to patients in Cambridge.

People who belong to Granta Practices and who suffer from heartburn, will be some of the first in the UK to have the simple 10-minute Heartburn Sponge.

The practice has surgeries in the Sawston, Linton, Royston and Great Shelford.

At the mobile unit, patients will be invited to have a quick but potentially lifesaving test, that was developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke's Hospital.

The mobile unit has been funded and equipped jointly by Heartburn Cancer UK, the charity that promotes awareness of oesophageal cancer, and Project DELTA, funded by Innovate UK.

"At present, we have to send people we're concerned about to hospital for an endoscopy. But the Heartburn Sponge Test is a quicker, cheaper, easier and a less invasive way to look for and monitor people who could be at risk of this dangerous, but often preventable, cancer," he added.

Michelle Mitchell, the chief executive of Cancer Research UK said it was exciting to see the pilot of the Cytosponge in a primary care setting after a decade of research by Cancer Research UK-funded scientists.

The first patients are expected at the mobile unit on Friday 11 June.