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The Cytosponge is an innovative new test developed in Cambridge, led by Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, and is changing the future of testing and diagnosis in Barrett's oesophagus.

The Cyptosponge is a small 'pill on a string' which expands into a sponge in the stomach once swallowed. It is then pulled back up the throat to collect cells from the oesophagus for analysis.

The Cytosponge


Video transcript - Cytosponge

00:00:01 - 00:00:03

The Cytosponge

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Our hospitals are where life and science come together to change the face of healthcare.

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And this is no truer than the innovation of the Cytosponge - a 'pill on a string'.

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It's changing the future of testing and diagnosis in Barrett's oesophagus.

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Sparing many from unnecessary and uncomfortable endoscopies.

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Developed in Cambridge and led by Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald,

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it's a simple test that can be done in a GP surgery rather than hospital.

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The cytosponge is a small pill with a string attached that the patient swallows,

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which expands into a small sponge about the size of a 50p piece when it reaches the stomach.

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This is slowly pulled back up the throat collecting cells from the esophagus for analysis.

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Cells from the Cytosponge are stained and viewed in a lab, looking for abnormal cells that could mean cancer.

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It's already helping patients like Liz.

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Liz received an early diagnosis of oesophageal cancer after having the test.

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She could not believe she had a disease that could kill her and yet felt perfectly healthy.

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The Cytosponge means better detection and potentially kinder treatment options.

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We're proud of the work that our staff and partners do to transform the way healthcare is delivered.

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Scan the QR code to find out more about the Cytosponge.