Over the coming weeks, around 2,500 residents in Peterborough who enrolled on the NHS-Galleri (GRAIL) trial in 2021 will be returning to a mobile clinic at Morrisons, on Lincoln Road, Walton, Peterborough for the last of their three appointments for the trial.
Participants will be asked to give a blood sample to help the NHS see if using the Galleri® blood test alongside existing cancer screening can help detect cancer early which means it is then often easier to treat.
Since the NHS-Galleri trial first started in 2021 the trial has successfully enrolled over 140,000 volunteers from many different socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds across England, including around 14,000 from the East of England.
Volunteers were all aged 50 to 77 years old at the point of enrolling onto the trial and had not been diagnosed or treated for cancer in the last three years.
Dr Pete Holloway, Primary Care Lead for the East of England Cancer Alliances said: “We are delighted to be welcoming back volunteers in Peterborough for their last trial appointments and encourage everyone to attend who receives an invite. Even if you missed your appointment last year, your involvement this year will still help with this research.”
Dr Stuti Mukherjee, GP Clinical Lead for Cancer for NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said: “We are truly grateful for the ongoing support of volunteers in Peterborough who are playing a vital role in a trial that could help save lives in the future.
“This trial continues to put the NHS at the forefront of cutting-edge research and technology. If this trial is a success, the Galleri® blood test could play a major part in achieving the NHS Long Term Plan ambition to diagnose three quarters of cancers at an early stage when it is easier to treat.”
Professor Charles Swanton, Co-Chief Investigator for the NHS-Galleri trial said:
“The information gathered from these last appointments is important to support trial results. We thank all volunteers for supporting the trial.
“Testing samples taken about 12 months apart will help researchers to understand how regularly people might need to be tested with the Galleri blood test in the future.”
If early trial results are promising, the NHS may decide to pilot the delivery of the test to a further one million people.
Early research has shown that the Galleri® test could help to detect cancers that are typically difficult to identify early – such as head and neck, bowel, lung, pancreatic, and throat cancers.
The test works by analysing chemical patterns in fragments of DNA that are shed from tumours into the bloodstream.
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.
The trial is operating with the support of eight NHS Cancer Alliances across England that span Cheshire and Merseyside, Greater Manchester, the North East and North Cumbria, West Midlands, East Midlands, East of England, Kent and Medway, and South East London.