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Southampton scientist in £2m study to predict who will get cancer
10:20am Wednesday 17th October 2012 in News
PREDICTING who will get cancer could soon be a reality following a multi-million pound study led by Southampton scientists.
The breakthrough in cancer diagnosis is hoped to be the result of a pioneering project at the University of Southampton that aims to determine which signs and symptoms indicate those most at risk of being diagnosed with the disease.
The £2m study is the largest award handed out by the National Institute for Health Research School of Primary Care Research (NIHR SPCR) and if successful could revolutionise the way the disease is treated.
It will involve blood samples taken from 20,000 patients who have had lung and colon cancer and aims to improve referral times for patients from GP through to hospital treatment.
Currently GPs must refer urgent cases within two weeks and for other cases, up to 62 days for referral.
However, it has been reported that some patients have to wait much longer and some have visited their GP more than once before being referred.
Professor Paul Little who is leading the study, said: “We need to improve both the early referral rates for cancer but, at the same time, we do not want to overload the system with lots of people who are at a low risk of having cancer and may have negative side-effects of being over-investigated.
“Our research aims to aid the patient pathway and help medical professionals, so every patient is dealt with in the most appropriate way and in a timely fashion.”