University of Oxford oncologists evaluated the Galleri blood test, produced by the US based company Grail, in a recent NHS clinical trial.
Grail is a biotechnology company established in 2015. It seeks to test people’s blood and evaluate elements of cell-free DNA to screen for over 50 variations of cancer.
“Outcomes of the trial indicated that over 66% of participants with cancer received a positive test result, and 75% of those who obtained a positive blood test result also had cancer“
Outcomes of the trial indicated that over 66% of participants with cancer received a positive test result, and 75% of those who obtained a positive blood test result also had cancer.
Although this trial missed one in three instances of cancer, it suggests that this is a great start to improving the rates and efficiency of cancer treatment.
One of the research leads and an associate professor at Oxford, Dr Brian Nicholson, explained that “the high overall specificity, positive predictive value, and accuracy of the cancer signal detected indicate that a positive test could be used to confirm that symptomatic patients should be evaluated for cancer before pursuing other diagnoses.”
Scientific specialists are optimistic that in future the Galleri blood test will be able to determine whether someone has cancer, and also reveal where exactly a tumour is developing, hence accelerating the course of therapy.
There were also reports that multiple participants were identified as having tumours in regions of the body that would not typically have been indicated by their symptoms.
Professor of molecular oncology at Warwick, Prof Lawrence Young, expressed how results “show we are edging towards an era when blood testing for cancer could really impact early diagnosis and significantly improve clinical outcome”.
England’s NHS Cancer Director, Professor Peter Johnson, also explained that “it also shows once again that the NHS is at the forefront of cutting edge, innovative technology.”See all the latest jobs in Science