The United Kingdom’s state-run National Health Service (NHS) will launch the world’s largest study of Grail’s flagship Galleri blood test, which can identify more than 50 kinds of cancer before symptoms show, on Monday.
The Galleri test examines the DNA in a patient’s blood to see if any is from cancer cells. Cancer survival rates rise substantially when diagnosed earlier.
The NHS stated that it planned to recruit 140,000 participants in England to evaluate the test as part of a randomized control study. Half of the participants’ blood samples will be tested with the Galleri test straight away.
“We need to carefully examine the Galleri test to see if it can dramatically reduce the number of malignancies identified late,” said Peter Sasieni, professor of cancer prevention at King’s College London.
“The test has the potential to be a game-changer for early detection, and we are thrilled to be spearheading this critical research.”
Lung cancer is by far the most frequent cause of cancer mortality in the UK, accounting for around one-fifth of all cancer fatalities. According to the NHS, lung, bowel, prostate, and breast cancers account for 45 percent of cancer fatalities in the United Kingdom.
Illumina, a life sciences firm based in the United States, announced this month that it had completed its $7.1 billion acquisition of Grail. Grail will be run independently of Illumina’s existing operations, according to the company.