The Galleri™ test, pioneered by healthcare company GRAIL is a revolutionary step towards diagnosing cancer. It checks for the earliest signs of cancer in the blood. The NHS-Galleri trial, the first of its kind, aims to recruit 140,000 volunteers in eight areas of England to see how well the test works in the NHS.
“The Galleri test can not only detect a wide range of cancer types but can also predict where the cancer is in the body with a high degree of accuracy,” said Sir Harpal Kumar, the Indian-origin President of GRAIL Europe and one of the UK’s leading cancer researchers.
“The test is particularly strong at detecting deadly cancers and has a very low rate of false positives. We’re delighted to partner with the NHS to support the NHS Long Term Plan for earlier cancer diagnosis, and we are eager to bring our technology to people in the UK as quickly as we can,” he said.
The first people to take part will have blood samples taken at mobile testing clinics in retail parks and other convenient community locations.
“This quick and simple blood test could mark the beginning of a revolution in cancer detection and treatment here and around the world,” said Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive.
“By finding cancer before signs and symptoms even appear, we have the best chance of treating it and we can give people the best possible chance of survival. The Galleri blood test, if successful, could play a major part in achieving our NHS Long Term Plan ambition to catch three quarters of cancers at an early stage, when they are easier to treat,” she said.
The NHS says the new test is a simple blood test that research has shown is particularly effective at finding cancers that are typically difficult to identify early – such as head and neck, bowel, lung, pancreatic, and throat cancers. It works by finding chemical changes in fragments of genetic code – cell-free DNA (cfDNA) – that leak from tumours into the bloodstream.