More than 1,500 residents in Stowmarket who enrolled on the NHS-Galleri (GRAIL) trial are currently receiving invitations to return to a mobile clinic in Stowmarket, (Tesco, Cedars Link Road, Stowmarket IP14 5BE) for the last of their three appointments in the trial (with appointments from 25 January – 14 February).
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. The mobile clinic will move on to other locations in the east of England following its time in Stowmarket.
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 Stowmarket 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.
“We are truly grateful for the ongoing support of volunteers in Stowmarket 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.
Notes to editors
- The East of England Cancer Alliances are among 21 Cancer Alliances across the country, working as part of NHS England to transform cancer care locally. See NHS England » Cancer Alliances – improving care locally
- The East of England region is divided into two Cancer Alliances, North and South, working in partnership with health and social care colleagues across all six Integrated Care Systems covering the East of England.
- For more information about the East of England Cancer Alliances, see www.canceralliance.co.uk
- The NHSGalleri trial is a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) – meaning that half the participants have their blood sample screened with the Galleri test right away (test group) and the other half have their sample stored (control group). These may be tested in the future. This is allowing scientists working on the trial to compare the stage at which cancer is detected between the two groups.
- Those taking part in the trial will not be informed if they are in the test or control group unless they are among the small minority whose test detects potential signals of cancer in their blood. Anyone in this situation is contacted by a trial nurse by phone and referred to an NHS hospital for further tests.
- All participants are advised to continue with their standard NHS screening appointments and to always contact their GP if they notice any new or unusual symptoms.
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