Lifestyle

UK to pilot blood test that may detect 50 types of cancer

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is to pilot a simple blood test that may detect more than 50 types of cancer and, it is hoped, could help thousands of people by allowing the disease to be treated more successfully at an earlier stage.

The Galleri blood test, developed by Californian healthcare company Grail, will be piloted with 165,000 patients in what the NHS described as a “world-first deal” in a news release Friday.

Grail, whose work is focused on detecting cancer early, is backed by investors including tech billionaire Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

NHS England hopes the blood test will be particularly useful in identifying types of cancer that are currently difficult to diagnose and treat early.

“Early detection — particularly for hard-to-treat conditions like ovarian and pancreatic cancer — has the potential to save many lives,” said NHS chief executive Simon Stevens.

It is hoped that it could help thousands of people by allowing the disease to be treated more successfully at an earlier stage. Credit: Thana Prasongsin/Getty Images

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