The UK’s National Health Service is beginning a new, massive human trial for a blood test that could revolutionize early cancer detection.
Grail Inc.’s Galleri blood test says it can identify cancers in the DNA of a person’s blood, even well before the person begins to show symptoms of the disease. Experts say earlier diagnoses of cancers can dramatically increase survival rates.
The NHS is aiming to gather DNA from 140,000 volunteers in England, initially as a randomized control trial. NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard says the org’s goal is to identify cancer cases in either stage 1 or stage 2 in 75% of detections overall.
According to the NHS, lung, bowel, prostate, and breast cancers make up 45% of cancer-related deaths in the UK, but it’s believed the Galleri blood test could potentially detect as many as 50 different types of cancer overall.
‘The test could be a game-changer for early cancer detection, and we are excited to be leading this important research,’ Peter Sasieni, professor of cancer prevention at King’s College London, told Reuters.

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