A novel blood test, the Galleri, capable of identifying over 50 types of cancer, has shown significant potential in a large-scale NHS trial. The test accurately detected two out of every three cancers among 5,000 patients who presented with suspected cancer symptoms. It also correctly identified the original cancer site in 85% of the positive cases, underlining its potential in early detection and treatment strategies.
- The Galleri test identifies unique changes in the genetic code that are characteristic of different cancers. The test is developed by Californian company Grail.
- The study, the largest of its kind, involved 5,000 patients with suspected cancer symptoms. Over 350 of these patients were subsequently diagnosed with cancer using traditional methods, and the Galleri test accurately diagnosed two-thirds of these cases.
- The test could also identify the primary site of the cancer in 85% of positive cases, thereby aiding in decision-making about the appropriate diagnostic tests and treatment options.
- Initial results from another trial, in which the Galleri test is being used to detect cancers in asymptomatic people, are expected next year. If successful, a further one million people are planned to be tested in 2024 and 2025.
- More research is needed to further confirm the efficacy of the Galleri test and its potential impact on patient outcomes, but initial results show it’s particularly good at finding hard-to-detect cancers such as head and neck, bowel, lung, pancreatic, and throat cancers.