There have been 2 highlights over the past year:
(i)Development of a non-endoscopic immunocytology screening test (Cytosponge) for Barrett's oesophagus (Patent filed UK and internationally, approved as a medical device by Medical Health Research Agency and trademarked).
We have tested our novel screening device in primary care (BEST trial n=500) which showed that the test was feasible and acceptable to patients with very promising accuracy (90% sensitivity and 94% specificity for the Cytosponge compared with gold standard endoscopy) (Kadri et al BMJ 2010).
(ii) Development of new clinical and molecular prognostic algorithm. The current staging system for oesophageal adenocarcinoma is a blunt tool which takes no account of the molecular features of the primary tumour. We have generated and validated a molecular prognostic signature (Saddi et al PNAS 2010) and uncovered gene of prognostic significance in the stroma (Peters et al Gastroentrology 2010). We are now testing this prospectively to see whether we can predict outcome at diagnosis and ultimately incorporate this into routine clinical practice.