Wiganers urged to join pioneering trial of blood test that detects 50 cancers

Participants in the world’s largest trial of a revolutionary new blood test - which can detect more than 50 types of cancer often before symptoms appear - started to arrive for their appointments in Wigan this week.

The potentially life-saving Galleri test checks for the earliest signs of cancer in the blood and has been shown to be particularly effective at finding cancers that are difficult to identify early, such as head and neck, bowel, lung, pancreatic and throat cancers.

Selected residents aged 50 to 77 in Wigan, who have received a letter from the NHS inviting them to participate in the NHS-Galleri trial, are being urged to book their appointment before the mobile clinic leaves on March 31.

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The trial is currently open to people in Wigan

Alison Armstrong, associate director at the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, said: “We know from other trial locations that slots at the mobile clinics book up rapidly so, if you have been invited, please do register for the trial as soon as you can. It is easy to book online or by phone by following details in your invitation letter or checking out www.galleri.org. You could be part of a study that has the potential to transform early cancer diagnosis.”

Participants, who must not have had a cancer diagnosis or treatment in the last three years, will watch an animation about the trial, ask questions and give a blood sample at their first appointment.

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They will be invited back after 12 months and two years to give further blood samples.

Dr Liam Hosie, cancer lead GP for Wigan CCG, said: “The Galleri test is really special as it can potentially find cancers before symptoms even appear. Diagnosing cancer as early as possible makes it much more treatable and improves chances of survival.

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“We are delighted that Wigan is part of this important trial, and I’d like to emphasise to anyone who is invited to take part, please do so as soon as possible. This is your chance to be part of some ground-breaking work to develop a test that may save lives in Wigan, across the UK and even around the world.“

The trial will assess how well the test works in the NHS and whether the technology can be used as a tool to screen people with no cancer symptoms.

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It aims to recruit 140,000 participants nationally, including those who have now signed up in Wigan, with the team keen to attract participants from different background and ethnicities.

It is a randomised control trial, meaning half the participants will have their blood sample screened with the test right away and the other half will have their sample stored and may be tested in the future. This will allow scientists to compare the stage at which cancer is detected between the two groups.

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The NHS-Galleri trial is being run by the Cancer Research UK and King’s College London Cancer Prevention Trials Unit in partnership with the NHS and healthcare company GRAIL, which has developed the Galleri test. Anyone whose results indicate a possible cancer will be followed up urgently in the NHS.

Initial results of the study are expected by 2023 and, if successful, NHS England plans to extend the rollout to a further one million people in 2024 and 2025.

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