Homerton Fellow is part of research team developing a fluorescent spray that can detect early oesophageal cancer.

Image: fluorescent spray that can detect early oesophageal cancer

Dr André Neves, Director of Studies in Biological Sciences and Fellow of Homerton College has been working with a group of gastroenterologists to develop a fluorescent dye spray which sticks to healthy cells in the oesophagus (food pipe) but cannot attach itself to cancer cells or those in the early stages of turning cancerous.

The disease, which killed Morse star John Thaw, is one of the most deadly cancers because it is often wrongly diagnosed and can remain undetected meaning many patients require unnecessarily invasive treatment.  This new spray will give hope to more than 8,000 Britons who are diagnosed each year with oesophageal cancer by providing an early indication of where the cancer is developing.

Dr Neves, Principal Scientific Officer at Cancer Research UK, said:

“Oesophageal cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage and because of that has one of the worse prognoses, with a 5-year survival of under 10%.  Detecting the disease earlier may allow clinicians to intervene at a stage when a curative treatment is still possible, saving patient lives and reducing health care costs”.

Further information on fluorescent spray that can detect early oesophageal cancer.