Wirral volunteers return one last time to help NHS trial new cancer screening test

Hundreds of volunteers from Wirral are returning to help the NHS research a pioneering test to detect cancer earlier.

They will have the last of three blood samples taken for the NHS-Galleri trial, which 22,000 people in Merseyside and Cheshire are taking part in.

The study is investigating if the multi-cancer blood screening test can help to spot cancer before symptoms appear.

Participants in Wirral are now receiving an invitation to have a final blood sample taken at a mobile clinic stationed at Europa Pools Leisure Centre in Birkenhead from 17 April to 5 May.

Dr Chris Warburton, Medical Director at Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance, said, “We are delighted to be welcoming back volunteers from Wirral for their last trial appointment and we are truly grateful for their ongoing participation. Even if you missed your appointment last year, your involvement this year will still help with this research.

“This trial – launched nationally in Cheshire and Merseyside in 2021 – continues to put the NHS at the forefront of ground-breaking 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 they are 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. 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. We thank all volunteers for supporting the trial.”

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 is due to pilot the delivery of the test to a further one million people in other areas of the country later this year.

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, including Cheshire and Merseyside, and it is rolling out across our region until June 2024.

For more information on the trial, see https://www.nhs-galleri.org

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