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.
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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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