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Chamber and committees

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

NHS Galleri trial submission of 20 December 2021

PE1863/D - Mandatory annual cancer blood test from the age of 55

We thank the Scottish Parliament for their interest in the NHS-Galleri trial.

The NHS-Galleri trial is investigating a new blood test to detect cancer. The aim is to see whether the test can help to find cancer early when combined with standard cancer testing in people who don’t have symptoms of cancer.

The Galleri™ test looks at ‘cell-free DNA’ found circulating in the blood to see if any of it may have come from cancer cells. The Galleri test has been found to detect many different types of cancer, including cancers for which there are no screening programmes, such as lung, pancreas or stomach cancers. If the test can find these cancers early and before people have symptoms of cancer, it may mean that cancer can be treated more successfully.

People aged between 50 and 77 who live in a region of England where the trial is being run are being invited to take part in the NHS-Galleri trial. The trial began in August 2021 and aims to enrol a total of 140,000 participants across eight cancer alliance regions from a wide range of demographics. Participants will attend an independently funded mobile clinic in their local area, up to three times over a period between 2021 and 2024 to donate samples of blood. Half of the people who take part in the trial will be in the test (or ‘intervention’) group. Their blood samples will be processed and tested with the Galleri test right away. Half will be in the ‘control group’. Their blood samples will be processed, stored and may be tested in the future. A control group is essential in research like this to provide a comparison with the test group.

The trial will give us an improved understanding of how well the Galleri test works when used alongside current cancer screening in the NHS. If it works well, then it could be used in the NHS in the future as a screening tool for many different types of cancer. If the Galleri test does not work well in this setting, then we will still have learned important information about what research needs to be done in the future to improve cancer screening.

It is anticipated that the trial will report interim findings in late 2023/ early 2024 at which point, if meeting key criteria, the NHS in England has committed to rolling out an extra 1 million tests in 2024-25. Final trial stage outcomes results are due in late 2025/ early 2026. To date, over 30,000 people have been enrolled in the NHS-Galleri trial of our 140,000 total and our aim is to complete recruitment by summer 2022.

Further information about the trial can be found at

Related correspondences

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Scottish Government submission of 19 May 2021

PE1863/A - Mandatory annual cancer blood test from the age of 55

Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Cancer Research UK submission of 5 October 2021

PE1863/B: Mandatory annual cancer blood test from the age of 55