As a world first, the NHS will offer revolutionary cancer tests that can show different types of cancer before their symptoms show.
One hundred and forty thousand volunteers are being recruited to help roll out the Galleri NHS test of the tests, which will initially be conducted in a number of community-based locations.
And inclusion is important because any signs of cancer that are discovered early, like those that appear in the first or second stage, have a greater chance of being cured and less aggressive.
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How do the Galleri cancer tests work?
According to the NHS England, the Galleri cancer tests are a simple tool that research has shown can identify cancers that are usually difficult to spot early. These include neck and head cancer, colon, lung, pancreatic and throat cancer.
They can identify cancer by locating fragments of the cell-free DNA of the genetic code that enter the bloodstream after a chemical change from tumors.
How do I take part in the Galleri Cancer Test Study?
Participants from eight regions of England, including Cheshire and Merseyside, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, the North East, the West Midlands, the East Midlands, the East of England, Kent and Medway, and the South East London, will be the only participants invited to the study to be included.
Letters have been sent to thousands of people from all backgrounds but between the ages of 50 and 77 asking if they would like to attend.
At a mobile clinic or community location, those who call will be asked to provide their blood sample and this process will be repeated after 12 months and after 2 years.
Grail, who developed the test, is working with Cancer Research UK, King’s College London and the NHS on the studies.
How long is the Galleri cancer test study?
The NHS expects to receive results from the study in 2023, with an additional million people to participate in 2024 and 2025 if the results are successful.
Sajid Javid, Minister for Health and Welfare, said: “The UK’s leading world scientists continue to pioneer innovative cancer diagnosis and treatment so that our brilliant NHS staff have the tools to detect the disease as early as possible and giving people the care they need.
“Early diagnosis can save lives, and this revolutionary new test can detect cancer before symptoms even appear, giving people the best possible chance of beating the disease.
“Ensuring fewer people need advanced cancer treatment is critical to patient care, and yet another example of the NHS innovating to become more efficient – which will be critical to reducing the backlog.”
Prof. Peter Sasieni, Director of Cancer Research UK & King’s College London Cancer Prevention Trials Unit and a lead researcher on the study added, “We need to carefully examine the Galleri test to see if it is significant in the number of cancers diagnosed can reduce at a late stage.
“The test could lead the way in cancer screening and we are excited to lead this important research. Cancer screening can detect cancer earlier if it is more likely to be treated successfully, but not all types of screening. “
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