NHS England is about to start a large-scale trial of a new blood test that can detect over 50 types of early stage cancer.
The test is called the Galleri test, and is able to identify early signs of cancer in the blood before people start to experience symptoms. The test has been shown to be particularly effective at identifying cancers that are difficult to find in the early stages – such as head and neck, bowel, lung, pancreatic and throat cancers.
The trial aims to recruit 140,00 volunteers in eight areas of England. People will have blood samples taken at mobile testing clinics in retail parks and other community locations, and they must not have had a cancer diagnosis in the last three years. The NHS is already inviting tens of thousands of people from different backgrounds and ethnicities aged between 50- and 77-years-old to take part.
The trial is being led by Cancer Research UK and King’s College London in partnership with the NHS and Galleri test developer GRAIL. The initial results from the study are expected by 2023, and, if successful, NHS England is hoping to rollout the test to a further one million people in 2024 and 2025.