Reflux Research Programme 

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The Reflux Research Programme is a BEST4 screening study focused on getting early diagnosis of oesophageal cancer, which is essential to reduce mortality from this disease.

Oesophageal cancer is the 14th most common cancer and the 7th most common cause of death by cancer in the UK, accounting for 3% of all new cancer diagnoses.

As a practice, you can drive forward this screening study by registering your patients to participate in the Reflux Research Programme. 

We are aiming to start patient recruitment at the end of 2023 in centres across the UK.

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Why should I get my practice involved?

As healthcare professionals, we have a shared goal to advance healthcare as we know it and make positive change happen for others.

Registering your practice ensures you are apart of vital research in cancer detection and will help with establishing whether Cytosponge-TFF3 test could be used as part of a routine screening programme in individuals with a history of heartburn.

It's simple and easy to support:

Step 1: Register your practice.

Step 2: Have 5-minute set-up call (if required). 

Step 3: We do the rest.

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How is patient data governed and managed?

If an eligible patient chooses to participate in the screening programme, they will be:

  • Sent an SMS message inviting them to participate in an online survey. Additional follow up messages may be required for non-responders.

  • The patient will consent to take part and share their survey results. This will be shared for the duration for the programme with the relevant data processors.

  • Based on responses the patients will then be randomised and a selection will be sent a follow up SMS invite to book an appointment via iPLATO's online Web Booking system. They will be able to cancel and change appointments, and provided with automated appointment reminders to help prevent missed appointment . There will be administrative access for clinical staff so they can view booking details including date, time, and location.

  • iPlato will ensure data is transferred safely and is used in line with data sharing governance arrangements agreed with King’s College London. Along with providing regular progress updates and project reports to enable


How will this impact my practice?

There will be no noticeable increase on practice workload.

  • iPLATO will facilitate the ongoing extraction of client demographic data via the practice clinical system phonebook, for which the data will be minimised as far as possible.

  • All data is processed within the HSCN network.

  • Only patients who have consented to receive SMS will be contacted.

  • iPLATO Healthcare acts as a Data Processor for this service.