A team of scientists, led by the University of Liverpool, has made a major advance in the development of a diagnostic test for oesophageal cancer. The findings, achieved at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) ALICE accelerator facility, will lead to major improvements in the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of the disease. Oesophageal cancer is the ninth most common cancer in the world and around 8000 people are diagnosed every year in the UK. It is an extremely difficult cancer to diagnose and is highly aggressive. Patients often present when the tumour is at an advanced stage, when surgical removal is no longer possible. The aim of the research is to develop a diagnostic test by imaging tissue obtained by endoscopy from patients with a precursor condition called Barrett’s Oesophagus. Patients with Barrett’s Oesophagus are more at risk of developing this form of cancer and are regularly monitored to detect changes in their condition. If precancerous changes are detected in these patients, they can undergo potentially curative treatment without the need for major surgery because the tumours have been detected at a much earlier stage. ALICE is an R&D prototype for the next generation of particle accelerators and is the first of its kind in Europe.