Cancer test on final hurdle

PUBLISHED: 23:06 17 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:56 15 June 2010

A NEW test for bowel cancer, pioneered in Honiton, is on its final hurdle before being rolled out nationwide.

A NEW test for bowel cancer, pioneered in Honiton, is on its final hurdle before being rolled out nationwide.Patients referred for screening to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital are being invited to take part in further trials.Dr Jeremy Gibson, who led trials in Honiton, says if the test's potential for accuracy is backed up, the new screening method will help GPs across the country determine which patients need to see a specialist urgently.More than 250 people volunteered to take part in an earlier trial at Honiton Community Hospital.Most of those were Herald readers, who answered an appeal. "We were over-subscribed and, in the end, I examined 115 of them," said Dr Gibson.He is helping to pioneer use of the Colonix test, which involves inflating a balloon in the rectum to collect a stool sample and cells."There is no obligation for people to take part in the trial," he said."Those who are willing will be invited to come for a separate appointment. We are also required to do the standard screening."Results of the trial will not be known for six months."The trial will be looked at after three months - to see if it is worth carrying on with," Dr Gibson added.

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