Comparisons with other tests available have shown that blood test has greater sensitivity for the detection of bowel cancer

A simple blood test that detects bowel cancer earlier is one step closer to being available on the NHS after demonstrating success in a clinical trial.

The Raman Spectometry (RS) blood test has been developed by researchers at Swansea University, led by professors Dean Harris and Peter Dunstan, with funding from Cancer Research Wales and Health and Care Research Wales.

CanSense has received support from Life Sciences Hub Wales, which has enabled them to secure an additional £1.2m from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to further develop the blood test to use across Wales.

Data from this pivotal study – involving 27 practices and 595 patients across west Wales – showed 79% of early-stage bowel cancer and 100% of advanced bowel cancers were picked up by the test. Comparisons with other tests currently available in primary care have shown that the RS blood test has greater sensitivity for the detection of bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is currently the second leading cause of cancer death in Wales, with waiting times for diagnosis and treatments are some of the longest in the developed world. Unfortunately, many of the 2,200 diagnosed cases in Wales each year are detected at an advanced stage.

Adam Bryant, CEO and business founder of CanSense, explained: "For the past eight years, our team has dedicated itself to creating something that we believe is as exciting as it is revolutionary. We now have a proven, rapid and affordable test that can save thousands of lives. With continued collaboration and funding, we now have a clear path to making this test available to GPs in Wales and beyond."