An innovative blood test that may spot more than 50 types of cancer will be piloted by the NHS in a world-leading programme, chief executive Sir Simon Stevens announced today.
The Galleri blood test, developed by GRAIL, can detect early stage cancers through a simple blood test, and will be piloted with 165,000 patients in a world-first deal struck by NHS England.
Research on patients with signs of cancer has already found that the test, which checks for molecular changes, can identify many types that are difficult to diagnose early, such as head and neck, ovarian, pancreatic, oesophageal and some blood cancers.
If the NHS programme shows the test also works as expected for people without symptoms it will be rolled out to become routinely available.
The test could help meet the NHS Long Term Plan goal of increasing the proportion of cancers caught early, which can be the key to reducing cancer mortality. Patients whose condition is diagnosed at ‘stage one’ typically have between five and 10 times the chance of surviving compared with those found at ‘stage four’.