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Major cancer screening project launched

Monday September 13th 2021

An ambitious project to use blood testing to screen for cancer is being launched today as the largest trial of its kind.

Some 140,000 volunteers will be asked to take part in the NHS Galleri trial, which will evaluate a test claimed to be able provide early warning of more than 50 kinds of cancer.

The project will run in eight areas of England and testing centres will be set up in retail parks and other community locations.

The test works by detecting chemical changes from fragments of genetic code-cell-free DNA that have leaked from asymptomatic tumours.

Participants will give samples three times in two years.

Researcher Professor Peter Sasieni, director of The Cancer Research UK & King’s College London Cancer Prevention Trials Unit said: “We need to study the Galleri test carefully to find out whether it can significantly reduce the number of cancers diagnosed at a late stage. The test could be a game-changer for early cancer detection and we are excited to be leading this important research.

“Cancer screening can find cancers earlier when they are more likely to be treated successfully, but not all types of screening work.”

Former Cancer Research UK chief executive Sir Harpal Kumar, now president of GRAIL Europe, the developer of the test, said: “We are eager to bring our technology to people in the UK as quickly as we can. The Galleri test can not only detect a wide range of cancer types but can also predict where the cancer is in the body with a high degree of accuracy.

“The test is particularly strong at detecting deadly cancers and has a very low rate of false positives.”

Tags: Cancer | UK News

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