The National Health Service (NHS), UK’s publicly funded healthcare agencies, has reportedly announced that it is starting the world's largest clinical trial of a potentially life-changing blood test that could detect more than 50 different types of cancer before their symptoms appear.
According to credible sources, several hundreds of thousands of individuals would be enrolled into these clinical trials to assess the blood test’s ability to detect cancers that are not screened for routinely. The trial’s success might be a critical step in detecting the diseases early.
The Galleri test, which is presently available in the United States, can detect chemical changes, which are difficult to detect early on, by picking up DNA fragments released by tumors into the bloodstream. Cancers of the lung, intestines, throat, head, neck, and pancreas are among them.
By locating, with a high level of accuracy, where within the body the cancer is located, the new test would be used to detect cancers in people that are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
However, in the UK, the Galleri test will not be replacing the NHS screening programs and it is unable to detect all cancers. Patients will still be able to get NHS tests done for common cancers including, cervical, bowel, and breast cancer.
Several mobile testing facilities will be put up in retail parks starting 13th of Sept, in what would make it the largest trial of these new basic blood tests in the world. The NHS trail would seek 140,000 participants from eight different locations in the United Kingdom, including Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South London, and the North East.
To qualify, participants must not have a cancer diagnosis done within the past three years and must provide a blood sample at a mobile clinic. They will then be asked to return a year later to submit a sample, and then again after a two-year gap.
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, stated that the quick and easy test could herald the start of a revolution in cancer diagnosis and treatment, and also play a significant role in the health service's goal of detecting three-quarters of cancers at an initial stage, when they are relatively easy to treat.