NHS to start world’s largest trial for cancer test using blood samples

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The NHS has launched the world’s largest trial of a blood test that can detect over 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear.


The plan is to recruit 140,000 volunteers in eight areas of England to see how well the test works in the NHS.


The Galleri test has been developed by US biotech GRAIL, which finds cancer signals in blood samples.


It’s particularly effective at detecting types that are difficult to find early, such as head and neck, bowel, lung, pancreatic, and throat cancers.


Finding cancer early often means getting less aggressive treatment and potentially curing the disease.


A patient whose cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage typically has between five and 10 times the chance of surviving compared with those found at ‘stage four.’


Study results will be available from 2023 and, if successful, the rollout will be extended to 1mln people by 2025.


The trial will be run by The Cancer Research UK and King’s College London Cancer Prevention Trials Unit in partnership with the NHS and GRAIL.


The selected areas are Cheshire and Merseyside, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, the North East, West Midlands, East Midlands, East of England, Kent and Medway, and South East London. Only people aged 50-77 living in these regions will be invited.

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