Researchers from the Medical Research Council Cancer Cell Unit in Cambridge have developed a new throat spray that could help doctors in making an early detection of esophageal cancer.
Current testing methods sometimes lead to wrong diagnosis and the treatment involves invasive procedures including the complete removal of the esophagus. The new florescent spray will help doctors make a more accurate diagnosis as it sticks only to healthy cells in the esophagus, thereby allowing doctors to check for cancer cells.
The affected cells can then be treated with minimal invasive procedures such as radiofrequency ablation. Lead researcher Dr Rebecca Fitzgerald said that the spray will help not only doctors, but also patients as it will avoid unnecessary invasive procedures.
"Our technique highlights the exact position of a developing esophageal cancer, and how advanced it is, giving a more accurate picture. This could spare patients radical surgery to remove the esophagus that can result in having to eat much smaller more regular meals and worse acid-reflux", Dr Fitzgerald said.