September 24, 2021

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UK’s National Health Service starts world’s largest trial of Galleri blood test

Pioneered by Grail Inc, the Galleri blood test can be used to detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear

UK’s National Health Service starts world's largest trial of Galleri blood test

File image of healthcare company Grail, which pioneered the Galleri Blood Test. Courtesy: grail.com

The United Kingdom’s state-run National Health Service (NHS) has commenced the world’s biggest trial of a blood test where they will detect more than 50 types of cancer. The world’s largest trial of Grail Inc’s flagship Galleri blood test will find out different types of cancer even before the symptoms appear.

Currently, the Galleri test is available in the US and it can spot cancers that are not routinely screened for. It can also pinpoint where the disease is in the body. Early diagnosis of cancers leads to dramatically increased survival rates, as per The Independent.

The Galleri test will help in looking at the DNA in a patient’s blood to adjust or regulate cancer cells, if any occur. “We need to study the Galleri test carefully to find out whether it can significantly reduce the number of cancers diagnosed at a late stage. The test could be a game-changer for early cancer detection and we are excited to be leading this important research,” said Peter Sasieni, professor of cancer prevention at King’s College London.

Meanwhile, the NHS informed that they wanted to recruit 1,40,000 volunteers in England. They also wanted to see how well the test worked, which was part of a randomised control trial. Taking this process forward, the NHS claimed that half of the volunteers will have their blood samples tested and screened with the Galleri test right away.

Among the many cancer diseases, lung cancer is the most common cause of death in the United Kingdom. This alone accounts for around a fifth of all cancer deaths in the country. However, other cancers like bowel, prostate, lung, and breast account for 45 percent of the United Kingdom’s deaths.

From today onwards, in Britain, blood samples will be taken at various mobile testing clinics. It will be part of the NHS trial for people who are aged between 50 and 77.

Also, individuals from Greater Manchester, the North East, West Midlands, East Midlands, Cheshire and Merseyside, East of England, Kent and Medway, and South East London have been invited to take part.

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