Hundreds of volunteers from Southport are returning to help the NHS study a ground-breaking cancer detection test.
The participants will have blood samples taken at a mobile clinic in #Southport in the coming weeks in their second appointment for the NHS-Galleri trial.
Participants will be helping to investigate whether the multi-cancer blood screening test can help to detect cancer early,before symptoms appear.
Since the NHS-Galleri trial was launched nationally in Cheshire and Merseyside during September 2021, it has successfully enrolled more than 140,000 volunteers from many different backgrounds across England, including over 22,000 from across our region.
Participants in Southport are now receiving an invitation to take part again and will have a blood sample taken at a mobile clinic, which will be stationed at the Esplanade Park and Ride from 17th February to 13th March.
Dr Chris Warburton, Medical Director at Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance said: “We are delighted to be welcoming back volunteers from Southport for their vital second appointment as part of the trial.”
“We know from feedback that volunteers found the process of enrolling very straightforward. We want to thank them for returning for both their second and third appointments, which will be even shorter. It’s such a simple thing to do but could make a big difference.”
Those taking part were aged 50 to 77 years old at the point of enrolling on to the trial and had not been diagnosed or treated for cancer in the last three years.
Over the coming months, the study will also return to Chester, Wirral, Crewe and Macclesfield, with volunteers contacted directly to attend their second screening. Participants have already taken part again in other parts of Cheshire and Merseyside.
This trial continues to put the NHS at the forefront of cutting-edge research and technology. The Galleri blood test, if successful, could play a major part in achieving the NHS Long Term Plans ambition to catch three-quarters of cancers at an early stage, when they are generally easier to treat.
Professor Charles Swanton, Co-Chief Investigator for the NHS-Galleri trial, said: “These next trial appointments are really vital for helping researchers understand whether the test could be used in the future as part of the NHS cancer screening programme.”
“Whilst the first year of the trial may pick up cancers that have existed for some time, the second and third years provide the best opportunity to explore the expected benefits of picking up new cancers at an early stage when treatment is generally more successful.”
If successful, the NHS in England plans to roll out the test to a further one million people in 2024 and 2025. In its first year, the trial has referred a small proportion of participants for urgent NHS cancer investigations, following detection of a positive Galleri cancer signal.
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 finding chemical changes in fragments of DNA that leak 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.
After this round of second appointments, local volunteers will be asked to come back a third time in around one year from now.
Dr Chris Warburton
The NHS-Galleri mobile blood unit
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
The NHS-Galleri study is a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) – meaning that half the participants have had their blood sample screened with the Galleri test right away (test group) and the other half have had 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.
CHESHIRE & MERSEYSIDE CANCER ALLIANCE
Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance is responsible for cancer performance, quality and outcomes across Cheshire and Merseyside, bringing together organisations, patients and others affected by cancer to:
• Plan for and lead delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan (https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/) ambitions for cancer, ensuring variation in outcomes is addressed and that improvements are made across whole pathways from prevention and diagnosis through to treatment and support for people living with cancer.
• Drive improvements in patients’ experience of the care and treatment they receive
• Provide oversight and coordination to support delivery of the waiting times standards for cancer
We work closely with cancer services and people affected by cancer to achieve:
• Better Cancer Services by providing access to expertise and learning; leading change in care pathways, and in piloting new scientific innovations
• Better Cancer Care by sharing and building on good patient experience practice
• Better Cancer Outcomes by increasing early detection, early diagnosis; enabling early access to cancer services and pathways, and ensuring cancer patients have access to the support they need to live long fulfilling lives beyond cancer
Our ambition is to:
• Increase the number of people each year who will survive for five years or more following their cancer diagnosis
• Work towards three in four cancers (75%) being diagnosed at an early stage where they are more likely to be treatable and continue to live a good quality of life following cancer