Thousands of people invited to help NHS trial new cancer test

A new revolutionary trial for cancer is set to take place in North Tyneside.

By David Sedgwick
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 4:08 pm
Dr Shaun Lackey.

The borough has been selected as one of several places within the North East and North Cumbria to take part in the world’s largest trial of a revolutionary new blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear.

A letter is being sent out by the NHS to people aged 50 to 77-years-old inviting them to take part in the trial.

Participants must not have had a cancer diagnosis or treatment in the last three years and have no concerning symptoms.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

A small blood sample will be taken at a mobile clinic visiting Wallsend and North Shields from the end of May with participants invited back after 12 months, and again at two years, to give further blood samples.

The potentially lifesaving Galleri™ test checks for the signs of cancer in the blood and the NHS-Galleri trial, the first of its kind, aims to recruit 140,000 volunteers nationally.

The trial team are inviting people from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities to ensure results are relevant for as many different people as possible.

Dr Hassan Tahir, primary care lead on the GRAIL project for the Northern Cancer Alliance, said: “By taking part in this trial, people in North Tyneside will be at the forefront of developing a test that has the potential to save lives from cancer in England and around the world.

“Registering for the trial is easy – just look out for the letter which will show you how to book an appointment online or over the phone.

"If you receive a letter do please consider being part of the trial. The test is a simple blood test that has the potential for identifying cancers at an early stage, this includes head and neck, bowel, lung, pancreatic and throat cancers.”

Dr Shaun Lackey, clinical director for cancer at NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "We are excited to announce that the Galleri trial is coming to North Tyneside for several weeks from the end of May.

"This is an innovative project, looking to use a simple blood test to detect cancer at an earlier stage, therefore increasing the likelihood of lives being saved.

“We would encourage selected patients aged between 50 and 77 to look out for their letter from the NHS inviting them to take part at their locality site. More information is available via www.nhs-galleri.org.”

The Northern Cancer Alliance is helping ensure participants who test positive in this region get the necessary follow-up appointments.

The NHS-Galleri trial is being run by The Cancer Research UK and King’s College London Cancer Prevention Trials Unit in partnership with NHS England and healthcare company, GRAIL.

All participants will be advised to continue with their standard NHS screening appointments and still contact their GP if they notice any new or unusual symptoms.

Sir Harpal Kumar, President of GRAIL Europe, said: “We’re delighted to partner with the NHS to support the NHS Long Term Plan for earlier cancer diagnosis, and we are eager to bring our technology to people in the UK as quickly as we can.

"The Galleri test can not only detect a wide range of cancer types but also predict where the cancer is in the body.”