The British National Health Service (NHS) today launches the world’s largest blood test, Galleri, from Grail Inc., which can be used to detect more than 50 cancers before symptoms appear.
The Galleri test examines the DNA of a patient’s blood to identify the elements that are “responsible” for a predisposition to cancer. Early diagnosis leads to a significant increase in survival.
The NHS said it wants to recruit 140,000 volunteers in the UK to test how well the test is performing in a randomized controlled trial. Half of the participants will immediately donate blood for analysis.
“We need to take a close look at the Galleri test to see if it can significantly reduce the number of late-stage cancers diagnosed,” said Peter Sassieni, professor of cancer prevention at King’s College London.
Lung cancer is by far the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for one fifth of all deaths from incurable diseases.
Lung, bowel, prostate and breast cancers account for 45% of deaths from this disease in the UK, according to the NHS.