New tumour detector brings victory for Strathclyde researcher

Strathclyde research associate Dr Holly Butler wins Scotland’s largest academic start up competition ‘Ready, Steady, Pitch!’ with CLinSpec Dx, a blood test for earlier brain tumour detection. The surgery free new method tests the patient’s blood and provides results within 10 minutes.

Last Saturday Butler, a Postdoctoral Research Associate, at the University of Strathclyde presented statistics on brain tumours and explained how these could be improved with CLinSpec Dx. With her team’s invention, that can speed up the brain tumour diagnosis process, Butler won the Edinburgh based competition.

“I’m incredibly pleased that the judges saw the potential in ClinSpec Dx – pitching was a nerve-wracking but very thrilling experience and it’s exciting to have the support from leading entrepreneurs and investors” said Butler.

The new technique claims to make detecting brain tumours significantly easier than it is today.

In a video on the start up’s website ClinSpec Dx’ Inventor and Chief Technology Officer, Matthew Baker, stated: “The current diagnostic relies upon an MRI and a scalpel to the brain, this is not sensitive enough for rapid and early detection.”

The scientific team urged for an improvement in brain tumour diagnosis as currently 38% of patients visit their GP more than 5 times before they are referred to a specialist. An estimated 62% of patients are diagnosed in an emergency and on average patients die 20 years earlier.

If ClinSpecDx makes it onto the market it is likely to increase brain tumour survival rates, minimise diagnosing times, provide scalpel- free tumour classifications (currently generated through a biopsy) as well as being a major cost relief for the NHS.