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British and US experts team up for cancer study

01 July 2016 07:31

The study will involve both UK and US experts

The study will involve both UK and US experts

Researchers in the UK are set to take part in a project launched by US President Barack Obama to help improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Scientists in Manchester will collaborate closely with those in the US to develop and refine a sensitive new "liquid biopsy" test. This will detect tumour cells circulating in the bloodstream.

It is hoped that the project will ultimately get the technology into clinics across the globe more quickly. The tech helps doctors to identify cancer patients who are at risk of relapse.

The ultimate goal of the scheme is to create a simple blood test that can spot early signs of cancer in otherwise healthy people.

British experts from Cancer Research UK will now focus on lung cancer studies. Those in the US will focus on bowel cancer.

US Vice-President Joe Biden is leading the initiative, which was originally announced in President Obama's State of the Union address in January.

Holiday plans

Holidays can offer a useful tonic to those who are recovering from cancer.

And they can protect their trips with specific cancer-related travel insurance, which can cover things like lost medication.

The expert's view

Professor Caroline Dive, from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, said of the new project: "The prospect of using blood samples to detect and track cancer - so-called liquid biopsies - is set to transform cancer care over the next few years.

"We are exhilarated by the prospect of this new partnership, and at bringing this exciting new technology to the UK."

A super-sensitive cell-scanning device developed by Professor Peter Kuhn at the University of Southern California will be used as part of the project.

This identifies circulating tumour cells more efficiently than other techniques, as it can look at each individual cell in a blood sample.