UK Embraces Multi-Cancer Early Detection Blood Test

GRAIL’s Galleri blood test detects cancer early when it can be cured
blood vial/blood test
United Kingdom (Vax Before Cancer)

A cancer detection company announced a partnership with the UK National Health Service (NHS) to help transform cancer outcomes by making the multi-cancer early detection blood test, Galleri™, available to patients living in the UK starting in 2021. 

The GRAIL Inc. commercial partnership program aims to confirm Galleri’s clinical and economic performance in the NHS system, as a precursor to its routine use by the NHS.

The company’s press release on November 25, 2020, stated ‘modeling data show that adding Galleri to the existing standard of care has the potential to decrease the number of cancers diagnosed at a late stage by nearly half, which could reduce the total number of cancer deaths in the UK by approximately one-fifth.’

The UK Galleri partnership program will involve approximately 165,000 people and includes two groups. 

The first will include 140,000 people over the age of 50 without any suspicion of cancer. And the second group will include 25,000 people aged 40 and above with suspicious signs or symptoms of cancer. 

Based on data from this program, access to the test could be expanded to around one million people across 2024 and 2025 and may roll out to a larger population thereafter.

In a clinical validation study in the U.S., an earlier version of Galleri detected over 50 types of cancer with a low false-positive rate of less than 1 percent through a single blood draw.

“Every year, nearly 200,000 people in the UK die from cancer. Many of these people are diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective,” stated Lord David Prior, Chair of NHS England. “This collaboration between the NHS and GRAIL offers the chance for a wide range of cancers to be diagnosed much earlier and could fundamentally change the outlook for people with cancer.”

“We are building a world-leading diagnostics industry in the UK — not just for coronavirus, but for other diseases too,” added Matt Hancock, the NHS’s Health and Social Care Secretary. 

“This exciting and ground-breaking new blood test from GRAIL will give us another tool to give more people the very best chance of survival, demonstrating how the UK continues to lead the way in using the latest innovative treatments to help patients. Many of us know a loved one who has battled against cancer and have seen first-hand the impact of this deadly disease.”

Cancer is projected to soon become the world’s leading cause of death, with more than 1,000 people in the UK receiving a cancer diagnosis every day. The majority of cancers are found too late when outcomes are often fatal because most deadly cancers have no available screening tests. 

In the UK, more than 80 percent of all cancer deaths are from cancers that don’t currently have any available recommended screening.

“The collaboration between GRAIL, NHS England, and the UK Government represents a novel approach to taking on one of the world’s biggest public health challenges,” commented Hans Bishop, Chief Executive Officer at GRAIL. “We are excited to partner with the UK Government to support the NHS Long Term Plan for earlier cancer diagnoses, and we are eager to bring our technology to patients in the UK, and potentially save many lives.

“The Long Term Plan for cancer is one I’ve been immensely supportive of since it was published in 2019, and I applaud the UK Government and the NHS for setting out these ambitious goals and road map to diagnosing cancers earlier,” said Sir Harpal Kumar, President of GRAIL Europe. 

“Galleri, a simple blood test that’s capable of detecting more than 50 types of cancers, is a ground-breaking and potentially life-saving advance that could have a tremendous human and economic benefit.”

Galleri is expected to be commercially available in the U.S. in 2021. It is currently available under investigational use in GRAIL’s first interventional study, PATHFINDER, where it is being used to guide clinical care.

PATHFINDER is the first time GRAIL’s multi-cancer early detection test will be used to return results to healthcare providers and communicated to participants to help guide appropriate diagnostic workup for more than 50 cancer types. The study will enroll approximately 6,200 participants, and they will be followed for 12 months from the time of their enrollment.

For more information, visit GRAIL.

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