New Randox project committed to helping bladder cancer patients
Scientists at global healthcare company Randox, recently unveiled as the sponsors for The Grand National 2017 under the banner of Randox Health, today announced the company has been awarded an Innovate UK research award, for their pioneering work in the development of a diagnostic test for the detection of bladder cancer in haematuria patients.
The urine-based test is being developed in collaboration with The Belfast Trust and Queen’s University Belfast, and has been described by the project’s Lead Scientist at Randox, Dr Mark Ruddock, as the “holy grail” of diagnostic tests to stratify patients with haemeaturia (blood in the urine), who are at high risk of bladder cancer;
“Currently, all haematuria patients are ‘red-flagged’ as candidates for an invasive procedure called a cystoscopy (a camera inserted into the bladder), which is both embarrassing and uncomfortable for the patient. In comparison, the revolutionary Randox test is based on a simple urine sample so is non-invasive and much more comfortable for the patient.”
Considering less than 20% of patients with visible haematuria, and less than 5% with invisible haematuria are found to have bladder cancer, Dr Ruddock highlighted the urgent need for a test that can inform decisions for patients who present with haematuria;
“In the UK, over £33.5 million is spent each year managing patients with haematuria who are subsequently found not to have bladder cancer. As such, haematuria is a significant healthcare burden, which is only set to increase because of our aging population. Use of this new test will allow urology teams the opportunity to reduce the number of unnecessary cystoscopies carried out on patients identified as ‘low risk’, and stratify patients identified as ‘high risk’. This will result in significant healthcare savings, and an improvement in the waiting times for haematuria patients who do require diagnostic services ie. those patients deemed ‘high-risk’.”
Randox was successful in winning funding for phase one of the project, which has enabled an economic study to be carried out by The National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-Operative Leeds who will investigate the economic benefits of the new diagnostic test for The National Health Service, and its role in the current patient care pathway. On successful completion of phase one, Randox will be eligible to apply for phase two funding.
Professor Peter Selby, Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Leeds, and Director of the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Cooperative Leeds, said:
“Bladder cancer is a very important disease which can be life threatening but also in many patients it can generate great anxiety, frequent hospital visits and many investigations. The new approach being developed by Randox has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of lives of many people at risk of bladder cancer.”
“Diagnostic Classifier for risk stratification of haematuria patients” was selected by Innovate UK in the “Stratified Medicine: connecting the UK infrastructure” competition.