Britain's state-run National Health Service started on Monday the world's biggest trial of Grail Inc.'s flagship Galleri blood test that can be used to detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear, according to Reuters.
The Galleri test will help in looking at the DNA in a patient's blood to determine if any come from cancer cells. Early diagnosis of cancers leads to dramatically increased survival rates.
Meanwhile, the NHS informed that they wanted to recruit 140,000 volunteers in England to see how well the test worked as part of a randomized control trial. The NHS claimed that half of the volunteers will have their blood samples tested and screened with the Galleri test.
"We need to study the Galleri test carefully to find out whether it can significantly reduce the number of cancers diagnosed at a late stage. The test could be a game-changer for early cancer detection and we are excited to be leading this important research," said Prof Peter Sasieni, director of King's College London Cancer Prevention Trials Unit.
Among the many cancer diseases, lung cancer is the most common cause of death in the United Kingdom. This alone accounts for around a fifth of all cancer deaths in the country. However, other cancers like bowel, prostate, lung, and breast account for 45 percent of the UK's deaths.
US Illumina Inc. said last month it had completed its $7.1 billion acquisition of Grail. Illumina said it will operate Grail separately from its existing business.