NHS launches World’s Largest Trial of Cancer Blood Test

The National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom has announced the world’s largest trial of GRAIL’s Galleri blood test, which was developed to detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear. The NHS hopes to recruit 140,000 volunteers across the UK to participate in the trial.

“This quick and simple blood test could mark the beginning of a revolution in cancer detection and treatment here and around the world,” said NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard. “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.”

Dame Cally Palmer, NHS National Director for Cancer added, “It is an absolute priority to speed up the earlier detection of cancer to improve survival, and this trial has the potential to do just that across a range of types of cancer.”

The test uses cell-free DNA (cfDNA) to detect changes in fragments of genetic code, which leak from tumors into the bloodstream.

The NHS trial is being run in partnership with The Cancer Research UK, King’s College London Cancer Prevention Trials Unit, and GRAIL.

Initial results for the trial are expected in 2023, with further rollout in 2024-2025 if successful.

Read more about the NHS trial here.

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