Heartburn Health Check rolled out to NHS patients as test cuts waiting times and helps prevent cancer

  • New early cancer test from diagnostics company Cyted to be rolled out from this weekend
  • Heartburn Health Check to be offered to patients across England
  • New evidence that Cyted’s test can save money and relieve NHS pressures

Cambridge, June 2023 – A new test to detect and help prevent early oesophageal cancer will be delivered to NHS patients from this weekend. The diagnostic company Cyted will launch the Heartburn Health Check programme as part of an NHS-funded rollout, set to benefit more than 80 locations across the UK.

Cyted has already provided 15,000 early oesophageal cancer detection tests with existing technology. Now it is launching a new UKCA and CE-marked testing device – the EndoSign® capsule sponge test – which will be deployed in both clinical and community settings.

An independent report from Unity Insights concludes that Cyted’s testing could save the NHS millions of pounds as well as significantly reduce endoscopy waiting lists. The report calculated that a single NHS Integrated Care System, of which there are 42 in total, could save as much as £3.86m over five years by adopting the technology.

Cyted’s tests are more comfortable and accessible than conducting endoscopies – the current standard of care for diagnosing and monitoring patients with the precancerous condition Barrett’s oesophagus. Widespread deployment can help cut waiting lists and ease pressures on hospitals. Oesophageal cancer is one of the most malignant cancers, with over half a million people dying from the condition globally every year.

Cyted’s new device is the next generation of capsule sponge testing, featuring improved usability that makes the test easier and faster for practitioners and more comfortable for patients. The test sees patients swallow a capsule which collects cells from the oesophagus in a process that takes less than ten minutes. It can be used to monitor patients suffering from chronic heartburn and Barrett’s oesophagus, who are at risk of developing oesophageal cancer, to ensure that cancer can be quickly detected earlier and treated.

The programme of tests to be launched this weekend has been financed by the UK government’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), which provided £3.4m in grant funding to Cyted earlier this year. It will initially be offered to patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria, East of England and Wessex to both help monitor those with Barrett’s oesophagus and to identify people with peristent heartburn who are most at risk of developing cancer. This additional work will build on Cyted’s ongoing testing programme in hospitals and communities throughout the UK.

MARCEL GEHRUNG, CEO and co-founder of Cyted, said: “We want to deliver our Heartburn Health Check to as many patients as possible. Cyted’s new EndoSign® technology will ensure we can provide early cancer tests in even more communities.

“The delivery of the Heartburn Health Check in community diagnostic centres and GP clinics will make our testing even easier to access. Oesophageal cancer is a major public health concern and one of the deadliest cancers, having a survival rate of less than 15%. Simply put: faster and earlier diagnoses can save lives.”


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