A blood test that can detect 50 cancers before symptoms appear could be offered to a million people in a pilot program from next summer, according to the NHS chief.
Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of the NHS, said the Galleri test had the potential to “transform cancer care forever”, according to reports.
Liquid biopsy detects tiny fragments of tumor DNA in the bloodstream and alerts doctors to whether a cancer signal has been detected and predicts where that signal is coming from in the body.
If the first results are positive, a pilot screening program involving one million patients over two years should begin next summer.
The test is expected to detect 5,000 potential cases of the disease each year.
The Galleri test is being administered to 142,000 people without symptoms across England and will report results in April.
According to the Times, a researcher involved in the NHS trial told a conference of health service officials in Manchester that the tests could eventually be carried out by people in their homes.
Pritchard reportedly told the NHS Confed Expo conference: ‘Our pioneering NHS Galleri trial, now in its second year, is the first step in testing a new way to identify cancers before symptoms appear.
“If interim results prove positive, we will roll out the test to one million more people across the country starting next summer, with the goal of diagnosing thousands more people with advanced stage cancer. earlier.
“Lives are saved when cancers are caught early and this test has the potential to transform cancer care forever, especially for types who often only show symptoms at a later stage, when they can be much more difficult to deal with.”
Gillian Rosenberg, head of innovation for the national cancer program at NHS England, told the conference that she was speaking to the national screening committee and would like to expand testing if early results were in. conclusive.
She added that they expected “about 5,000” positive referrals each year of the pilot program.
This month, a separate study published at the world’s largest cancer conference in the United States suggested that the Galleri blood test, made by California-based company Grail, could help speed up diagnosis and speed up treatment of patients.