A genomics company is developing technology that could spot cancer signs in healthy people from as a little as a few drops of blood.

Although others have succeeded in creating blood tests to detect tumour relapses or cancer progression, spotting cancer signs in healthy bodies is the holy grail.

The technology by Illumina, is known as a “liquid biopsy”,. It would work by spotting fragments of DNA that are signatures for cancer in the blood, as it develops. It is backed by renowned tech founders including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.

Several scientists, including the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute and the University of Leicester in the UK, are working on similar technologies.

Last year, a similar test created in London by the Institute of Cancer Research, was able to detect breast cancer relapses almost eight months before any symptoms developed.