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Experts come together to improve brain tumour diagnosis in Scotland

5th Feburary 2024

Glasgow-based Dxcover Ltd. are developing a diagnostic tool to detect brain tumours, and they are one of the organisations taking part in roundtable discussions on 5 February to review the brain tumour diagnosis pathway in Scotland.


GPs, NHS representatives, researchers, representatives from the Chief Scientists Office, the Scottish Steering Committee and The Brain Tumour Charity – representing the patient voice – will also take part in the meeting at The Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh.


More than 1,000 people in Scotland are diagnosed with a brain or central nervous system tumour each year1 so there is an urgent need to prioritise better care.


In addition, The Charity’s Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys show one in three people visit their GP more than five times before they are diagnosed.


Now Dxcover is working alongside researchers at the University of Edinburgh to develop a blood test and AI analysis that could enable earlier diagnosis in primary care settings.


Cameron Miller, Director of Policy and Strategy at The Brain Tumour Charity said: “This roundtable is a stepping stone to ensure that the right conversations are taking place while these diagnostic tools are being developed and that when they are ready for patients they are able to get to them as quickly as possible. It is also key to ensuring policymakers truly understand the barriers to brain tumour diagnosis and the need to improve current diagnostic pathways.”


Brain tumours can be hard to diagnose due to their non-specific symptoms, including headaches, vomiting and visual disturbances.


An early diagnostic test to help identify which people with these symptoms are most likely to have a brain tumour would help prioritise demand on imaging facilities such as MRI and CT scans.


Dxcover has developed a test which uses novel approaches and AI algorithms to analyse blood samples to look for signs of a brain tumour. Early research suggests that this technology could offer a promising diagnostic tool, although more testing will be required. They are currently running a performance evaluation study across seven sites in the UK and Europe, to understand the effectiveness and viability of their technology. 


Prof. Matthew J. Baker, CEO of Dxcover said: “Dxcover has patients at the heart of its thinking. This roundtable is key to changing the picture for brain tumour patients and one which we are excited to be a part of. We have recently launched our EMBRACE study, a pan-Europe 2,200 patient performance evaluation of the Dxcover® Brain Cancer Liquid Biopsy which will enable CE marking and provide a much-needed tool for patients.”


Dr Paul Brennan, Reader and Honorary Consultant Neurosurgeon at the University of Edinburgh said: “During several clinical studies involving patients in Scotland we have demonstrated that the Dxcover test is an efficient and effective strategy for brain tumour detection.  The next step is to find the best route to implement this test into routine care and the roundtable event brings together the stakeholders needed to achieve that.”


1.     Campaigning in Scotland, The Brain Tumour Charity: Accessed 30th January 2024

About The Brain Tumour Charity:

The Brain Tumour Charity is the world's leading brain tumour charity and the largest dedicated funder of research into brain tumours globally. Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40. Committed to saving and improving lives, The Charity is moving further, faster to help every single person affected by a brain tumour. We're set on finding new treatments, offering the highest level of support and driving urgent change. And we're doing it right now. Because we understand that when you, or someone you love, is diagnosed with a brain tumour – a cure really can't wait.

Find out more at:



About Dxcover Limited

The Dxcover® Brain Cancer Liquid Biopsy is a simple blood test combined with artificial intelligence that can rapidly fast-track patients suspected to have a brain tumour for further treatment. Typically, diagnosis requires several GP visits before specialist scans and can take up to eight weeks or more to fully diagnose.  Dxcover is a spin-out from the University of Strathclyde, based on world leading research and fronted by an award-winning team dedicated to translating this technology into the clinic. 


Dxcover’s blood test is fast, inexpensive and only requires a blood sample. The doctor sends the sample to the lab for analysis with infra-red light. Dxcover’s ‘drop, dry, detect’ technology provides results in minutes and is powered by artificial intelligence and trained to detect the signs of cancer. Through the Dxcover® Cancer project, the company is targeting earlier detection of rare and common cancers. Earlier diagnosis results in significantly higher survival rates compared to late-stage diagnosis, with treatment options and the chances of recovery and quality of life hugely increased. The blood test allows doctors and clinicians to prioritise and fast-track patients for further treatment.


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