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UEA researchers to develop new blood test for aggressive bone cancer

Researchers at the UEA School of Biological Sciences and Norwich Medical School are developing a simple blood test to diagnose bone cancer thanks to funding from the Big C.

Finger prick test

Cancer which starts in the bones is typically more aggressive than other types and some forms are both chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistant. In these cases surgery is the only option, and survival rates have not improved in the last 25 years. 

It is hoped that a new ‘fingerstick’ blood test could make diagnosis quicker for those at high risk – and if caught early, reduce the severity of amputation. 

The project is being led by PhD student Darrell Green, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School. He said: “We will be focusing on primary bone cancer – which means cancer that has originated in the bones, rather than secondary bone cancer which has spread to the bones from other parts of the body. 

“We are studying Chondrosarcoma – an incredibly unpredictable form of bone cancer that can develop at any age. With a new case every other day in the UK, we need to develop tools to understand its biology, diagnose it earlier and treat it far better.