Cytosponge is a tool to detect Barrettâ€s Oesophagus — a precursor to oesophageal cancer — which is minimally invasive and can be used in primary care. Using Cytosponge a patient swallows a capsule, about the size of a multi-vitamin pill, which is attached to a cord. When swallowed, the capsule dissolves to release a sponge. The sponge can then be removed by a nurse a few minutes later collecting cells along its passage. These cells are then tested in the laboratory using an accurate method developed by the Fitzgerald Laboratory.

Eastern AHSN is looking at how to support the use of Cytosponge in primary care across the region.

The Cytosponge enables testing in primary care for Barrettâ€s oesophagus, a condition that can increase a personâ€s risk of developing oesophageal cancer. A big challenge with this type of cancer is that many people donâ€t realise thereâ€s a problem until they start to have trouble swallowing. Often, these symptoms arenâ€t recognisable until a later stage in the disease.

Created by Cyted, itâ€s a cheap and simple test that can be done in a GP surgery instead of a referral to hospital for an endoscopy.

Following a proposal supported by Eastern AHSN, the government has announced a 3.5 million funding boost to trial the use of the Cytosponge TFF3 test to diagnose Barrettâ€s oesophagus in patients with symptoms such as heartburn in primary and secondary care settings.

How does Cytosponge work?

Cytosponge is a small coated pill on a string that contains the sponge. Itâ€s easy for people to swallow, and when the pill reaches the stomach, the coating dissolves and the sponge expands. The sponge collects cells from the lining of the oesophagus as it is pulled back up and is then sent for analysis, where pathologists will use a simple antibody test to spot the signs of the patient being precancerous.

About Cyted

Cyted is enabling the earlier detection of disease, providing products and services that combine proprietary artificial intelligence technology and digital diagnostic infrastructure with next generation biomarkers.

Find out more about Cytosponge

Cytosponge oesophageal cancer test
Government funding
Sooner the better cancer IR story cytosponge
The sooner, the better

Dr Jag Ahluwalia, Chief Clinical Officer at Eastern AHSN, explores where innovation is helping to identify cancer earlier.

Read more in our impact review…

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Sarah Robinson

To learn more about our projects to detect and treat cancer contact [email protected]

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