New Cancer Test Could Detect 50 Types of Cancers Before Symptoms Are Due To Appear

·1-min read
Photo credit: Andrew Brookes - Getty Images
Photo credit: Andrew Brookes - Getty Images

A new and potentially "game-changing" cancer test is being rolled out across 140,000 volunteers in a revolutionary new medical trial. Called the Galleri test, it could detect over 50 types of life-threatening cancers even before symptoms are due to appear.

The simple blood test is designed to search for and identify the early stages of various cancers, specifically those without screening programmes, including lung, pancreas and stomach cancers. The Galleri test also detects minute changes caused by cancers and is already being used in the US.

Looking at changes in DNA (cfDNA) code, the Galleri test doesn't show that a patient definitely has cancer, rather that they should book some follow-up appointments to check on any signs of potential future illness.

So, how will the Galleri cancer test trial work? Each patient is required to provide a blood sample at a mobile clinic and will be invited back two further times — in one years' time and in two years' time from the original blood sample date. Half of the participants will have their blood screened using the Galleri test, to help identify whether or not the cancer is detected significantly earlier than previous testing models.

The goal of the Galleri cancer test trial is to help increase five-year cancer survival rates, and marks a breakthrough in testing for cancer using blood tests.

"The test could be a game-changer for early cancer detection," said Professor Peter Sasieni, a lead investigator on the trial. However, "cancer screening can find cancers earlier when they are more likely to be treated successfully, but not all types of screening work."

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