Researcher’s at Queen’s University in Belfast have developed a new test that could radically improve treatment for people with oesophageal cancer.

Ireland has one of the highest rates of that form of cancer in Europe, with an average of 450 cases each year.

The new test developed by the research team in Queen’s could change decisions about what type of chemotherapy suits the early stages of cancer.

Dr Richard Turkington, Senior Clinical Lecturer at Queens, says people who are diagnosed early are all currently treated the same way.

“At the minute, we have a one-size-fits-all approach where everybody gets the same chemotherapy and it works better for some people than others,” Dr Turkington explained.

“What our researchers developed is a test to predict which patients should get which chemotherapy to really match the right treatment to the right patients so that we can get a tailored approach and make sure that everybody has the best chance of getting their tumour shrunk and then removed by an operation.”

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