Business and innovation

Lee Lucas Business Award winner: CanSense

CanSense receives the Lee Lucas Business Award. For the early detection of bowel cancer, CanSense is developing an accurate, rapid, non-invasive, blood test combining Raman Spectroscopy and AI-based technologies to identify cancer metabolite activity in the blood.


CanSense are translating impactful academic and clinical research results to meet the growing global market in cancer diagnostics. CanSense is a start-up med tech company focused on developing blood-based assays that meet the need for accurate, fast, inexpensive and scalable tests for cancer using technology that has platform potential. Initial development is targeted towards the detection of bowel cancer. Additional cancers have been identified to maximise the utility and commercial potential. 

CanSense seeks to significantly improve the accuracy of early-stage bowel cancer diagnosis and therefore patient outcomes.  

CanSense’s blood test could be widely used in primary care settings. The test produces a spectral ‘fingerprint’ from cancer activity in blood that their AI-software interprets using pattern recognition to diagnose cancer.  Early results indicate that the blood test is very accurate in detecting bowel cancer. It is based upon Raman-spectroscopy applied to a blood sample and uses a trained AI algorithm to recognise the spectral response from patients with bowel cancer. 

Unlike competitor technologies, its label-free method translates into a cost effective, scalable diagnostic which has been clinically tested in the UK and found to be highly accurate at detecting and ruling out bowel cancer and the polyps that precede cancer changes. Uniquely, the blood test can also detect pre-invasive polyps with a high level of accuracy. Introducing this disruptive technology for cancer prevention through earlier stage detection allows less invasive procedures, reduced treatment costs and shorter length of hospital stay, which are all important factors for prudent healthcare. 

CanSense technology being used in the early detection of bowel cancer

About the company

CanSense is developing a non-invasive, blood-based diagnostic for the early detection of cancer. Using innovations in spectroscopy and AI-based analytics the test analyses cancer-driven metabolic activity in blood that our AI software is trained to interpret and diagnose. Our first test is a bowel cancer test for use by primary care practitioners.