Cambridge University has developed a quick way of testing for gullet cancer using a tiny sponge on a string
A ‘pill on a string’ has been developed by the University of Cambridge to detect the early signs of throat cancer without the need for a biopsy.
The pill is swallowed and when the outer case dissolves it reveals a sponge which can then be pulled up the throat lining, collecting cells.
Researchers say the tiny sponge is more effective at picking up cancer because it takes a swab of the whole throat and not just a small area that a biopsy would examine.
Oesophageal cancer is often preceded by Barrett’s oesophagus, a condition in which cells within the lining of the oesophagus begin to change shape and can grow abnormally.