A urine test which can diagnose pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease, has been developed by scientists.
The pioneering test is the first ever to detect early-stage pancreatic cancer.
It could increase survival rates for those diagnosed while their tumour is still small to 60 per cent.
Currently, just 5% of pancreatic cancer patients are alive five years after diagnosis.
The test, developed by researchers at Queen Mary University of London, has reached the final stage of validation and will be developed for use on patients.
Prof Tatjana Crnogorac-Jurcevic, of the university’s Barts Cancer Institute, said: “If we can detect pancreatic cancer when it’s still operable and when the tumours are small and not yet spread to other organs, we could see a significant impact on patient survival.
"Removing tumours 1cm or smaller can increase five-year survival to around 60%.”
The test detects a combination of three proteins which, at high levels, flag up stages one to three of the disease.
It was first revealed by British academics in 2015, after diagnosing early cancers with 90% accuracy in a small trial of 500 patients.
It will now be tested on more than 3,000 patients in a £1.6million, four-year clinical study.