web1121sponge1311706640x360Retiree Tony Richards survived cancer of the esophagus and gets an endoscopy every year to look for any sign of cancer’s return. Richards says the endoscopy procedure — where medics insert a camera-enabled tube-like device down an often sedated patient’s throat to collect esophagus cells — would take him out of commission for the day. “It’s not a very pleasant process,” Richards says. But now researchers at the University of Cambridge say they’ve come up with a less-invasive, capsule test to screen for cancer at a fraction of the cost of a traditional endoscopy. Their “Cytosponge” looks like a large multi-vitamin attached to a string. Patients swallow the capsule and then it expands into a sponge in the stomach within minutes. As the sponge is slowly pulled back out by the string, it gently collects cells from the esophagus wall. More