Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) announced it started trials on Monday for a blood test that can detect over 50 types of cancer before patients show symptoms.
The Galleri test examines the patient’s DNA in the blood to look for early signs of cancer and significantly increases people’s chance of survival, according to the NHS’s news release. The test works by finding changes in DNA that come from tumors in the blood.
“This quick and simple blood test could mark the beginning of a revolution in cancer detection and treatment here and around the world,” NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said in the news release. “By finding cancer before signs and symptoms even appear, we have the best chance of treating it and can give people the best possible chance of survival.”
The NHS has today begun the world's largest trial of a new blood test that detects more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear. By finding cancer early, we have the best chance of treating it and giving people the best possible chance of survival. pic.twitter.com/CmeeIxzaq4
— Amanda Pritchard (@AmandaPritchard) September 13, 2021
The NHS intends to recruit 140,000 volunteers and conduct the trials in eight areas of the country to determine the effectiveness of the blood test, according to the news release.
“It is an absolute priority to speed up the early detection of cancer to improve survival, and this trial has the potential to do just that across a range of types of cancer,” Dame Cally Palmer, NHS national director for cancer, said in the release.
Participants in the trial must have at least three years without a cancer diagnosis and will be asked to give blood samples at a local mobile site. The individuals will first be invited back after 12 months and then again after two years to provide more samples, according to the news release.
Results should be available by 2023, and if successful, the NHS plans to provide the test to a million users in 2024 and 2025.
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