The National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom starts this Monday (13) the largest test in the world with blood tests that can be used to detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear.
Galleri’s test, from the American biotechnology company Grail Inc., examines the DNA in a patient’s blood to determine if any comes from cancer cells.
Early diagnosis of cancer leads to a significant increase in survival rates.
The NHS said it wanted to recruit 140,000 volunteers in England to see if the test worked well as part of a randomized clinical trial.
Half of the participants will have their blood sample tested with the Galleri test immediately.
“We need to study the Galleri test carefully to find out if it can significantly reduce the number of cancers diagnosed at a late stage,” said Peter Sasieni, professor of cancer prevention at King’s College, London.
“The test could be a game changer for early cancer detection and we are excited to lead this important research.”
Lung cancer is by far the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for around one fifth of all cancer deaths.
Lung, bowel, prostate and breast cancers account for 45% of cancer deaths in the UK, according to the NHS.
American life science company Illumina Inc. said last month that it has completed its acquisition of Grail Inc. for $7.1 billion.
Illumina said it will operate the Grail separately from its existing businesses.
(Editing by Mike Harrison)