UK to trial blood test that detects more than 50 types of cancer

The pharmaceutical company GRAIL, in commercial partnership with the UK government, will start trials in 2021 on a new early detection blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer, often before symptoms show.

According to an article in the medical newsletter MedTech Dive studies suggested the Galleri test can identify many types of cancer that are difficult to diagnose early, such as head and neck, ovarian, pancreatic and oesophageal.

Research found that more than 99% of positive results were accurate in a trial using samples from more than 1,200 people. It is the first such test able to identify so many types of cancer and diagnose in which tissue the cancer originated, which it did with 93% accuracy overall.
It will now be piloted on 165,000 patients in mid-2021. The test works by looking for cell-free DNA, which leaks from tumours into the bloodstream.

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