The UK National Health Services (NHS) is going to carry out a simple blood test, which will be able to detect more than 50 types of cancer. Experts have said that the blood test will help thousands of people by diagnosing cancer and treating them successfully at an early stage. This blood test is called the Galleri blood test. It has been developed by the Californian healthcare firm called Grail. The officials have said the test will be conducted on nearly 165000 patients. The NHS has named this trial as ‘World First Deal’. Galleri, which works by diagnosing cancer at an early stage has been funded by many investors such as tech billionaire Bill Gates and the founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos. The officials from the NHS feel that the blood test will be helpful in detecting types of cancer, which are hard to be diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
The chief of NHS Simon Stevens has said that early diagnosis of hard-to-treat cancers such as ovarian and pancreatic cancers will save many lives. As per the data, more than 1000 people are diagnosed with different types of cancer every day in the UK. The participants of this trial will include 140000 people in the age range of 50 to 79 years. These people will show no symptoms of the disease but will undergo annual blood tests once over three years time span. The rest of the 25000 patients included in the trial will show some of the possible cancer symptoms. They will be offered a blood test to accelerate the diagnosis. Such patients will be sent to the hospital for a regular check-up in the normal way. The trial of this blood test will take place in mid-2021. The findings of the trial might be released by 2023.
Experts hope that around one million people will be able to access this test by 2025. Thereafter, experts will expand its reach to a wider population. Sources say that around half of the cancers are detected at stage one or two in the UK. However, the NHS is planning to increase it to three quarters by 2028. Many experts have said that Galleri has the potential to reduce the number of cancers diagnosed at a later stage, which will ultimately reduce the total number of deaths related to cancer in the UK by one fifth. The Charity Cancer Research UK has reported that five-year relative survival for cancer in the UK is much below than the European average.