Cancer affects every family at some time in their lives, but the dream of scientists is that it is diagnosed early enough to make it a manageable disease, rather than an early death.
Visionary scientists and global collaborators working with Abcodia hope to achieve this, and today their pioneering work has been given fantastic coverage in the Sunday Telegraph by Enterprise Editor Rebecca Burn-Callander.
Dr Julie Barnes, Abcodia’s CEO and one of its founders, pictured at the biobank where serum samples are stored, sums it up perfectly in the report when she says:
“At the moment, we only detect cancer when it’s 90pc along its continuum. “There’s a whole silent cancer period with no pain or symptoms.”
Abcodia recently announced that it has been given world-wide exclusive licensing rights for ROCA, a test being validated for the screening of ovarian cancer which has the potential to be a major breakthrough for early diagnosis of this silent killer which evades detection.
As today’s report in the Telegraph states, for the ordinary woman in the street, Abcodia’s research means that it could be possible, in the near future, to screen for ovarian cancer and catch it long before symptoms are presented. Initial research into pancreatic cancer suggests that the biomarkers could reveal its presence in advance, too.
Dr Barnes is passionate about improving cancer screening and saving lives: “This could be widely adopted by the NHS. Much like cervical and breast cancer screening, if there was even a 20pc improvement in the mortality rate, it would be worth it. Cervical cancer survival rates are up 80pc since we started screening. You can really make a life-changing difference.”
*I wish every success to Dr Barnes who has been shortlisted for the prestigious WISE Enterprise & Innovation Award profiling female innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs. Last December, Abcodia swept the board and won four top Startup Awards for its pioneering work in cancer screening.