Dr Matt has developed a blood-based test for the early diagnosis of cancerous brain tumours. He is now investigating whether the test can detect chemical changes in the body that can occur in advance of symptoms, enabling doctors to monitor and to treat patients as soon as possible. As with all cancers, the earlier the intervention, often the better the outcome.
Dr Matt specialises in a branch of chemistry called spectroscopy, which involves testing samples, using light. Of his award, he said: “There is a need for new diagnostics for cancer and my aim is to translate our spectroscopic technology to help patients.”
According to The Brain Tumour Charity, primary brain tumours are the country’s biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40 years, claiming more than 5,000 lives annually but less than 2% of the £500 million spent on cancer research in this country every year is spent on brain tumours, which can also occur as secondary cancers.