The University of Manchester (UoM) in the UK has received funding from National Health Service (NHS) England for exploring the use of a new test for the early detection of liver cancer.

Elecsys GAAD, which will be tested using the over £1m fund, will enable patients to gain access to earlier care and possibly save lives.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and UoM will deploy the new technology across hospitals run by MFT.

The technology seeks to enhance the early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is the most common cancer that affects the liver.

Roche Diagnostics, the developer of the Elecsys GAAD test, along with researchers at MFT, UoM and not-for-profit organisation Vocal, have supported the project.

At MFT, the technology will be used together with routine surveillance tests to find out its benefit to patients.

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The fully regulated, precise test features the combination of blood tests with gender and age, which shows the presence of HCC.

Health Innovation Manchester, in collaboration with the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, the Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support will back the launch of the technology.

Data from the deployment of the test at MFT will be used to jointly develop a plan to introduce the technology across the UK.

University of Manchester honorary senior lecturer and MFT consultant hepatologist and project lead Dr Varinder Athwal said: “Manchester has some of the highest rates of liver disease and liver cancer in the UK and far too many people are diagnosed when curative treatment is not possible.

“We need better tools to identify liver cancer earlier when it can be cured. This innovation is a non-invasive test that easily fits into our current pathway and we hope that it will enable us to diagnose more people at early, curable stages of primary liver cancer.”