New Cancer Screening Test

The Pathfinder study offered the blood test to more than 6,600 adults aged 50 and over, and detected dozens of new cases of disease. Many cancers were at an early stage and nearly three-quarters were forms not routinely screened for.

It is the first time results from the Galleri test, which looks for cancer DNA in the blood, have been returned to patients and their doctors, to guide cancer investigations and any necessary treatment.

The Galleri test has been described as a potential “gamechanger” by NHS England, which is due to report results from a major trial involving 165,000 people next year.

In the Pathfinder study, 6,621 adults aged 50 and over were offered the Galleri blood test. For 6,529 volunteers, the test was negative, but it flagged a potential cancer in 92.

Further tests confirmed solid tumours or blood cancer in 35 people, or 1.4% of the study group. The test spotted two cancers in a woman who had breast and endometrial tumours.

*Beyond spotting the presence of disease, the test predicts where the cancer is, allowing doctors to fast-track the follow-up work needed to locate and confirm a cancer. *

The test identified 19 solid tumours in tissues such as the breast, liver, lung and colon, but it also spotted ovarian and pancreatic cancers, which are typically detected at a late stage and have poor survival rates.

The remaining cases were blood cancers. Out of the 36 cancers detected in total, 14 were early stage and 26 were forms of the disease not routinely screened for.

Of course investigation of the test must occur. But looks good now. Indeed a game changer.


My doctors medical service yesterday advised they have a cancer screening blood test available for $949. Not covered by insurance. Screens for 50 cancers.

Worth the price? Yes, if they catch it early. What about false positives?


The heavy duty marketing for the Galleri test has been going on in this fashion for a couple of years. I generally enjoy the Guardian’s coverage on a good many matters but this article seems to be another iteration of what the company is trying to promote.

I started reading and checking all the hyperlinks … imagining that I’d find my way to something of a peer-reviewed, primary document sort of thing to start thinking about anew. I gave up after the first few because every single one was to either a similarly enthusiastic article in the Guardian or a press announcement by the company. Very click-baity and eerily reminiscent of the hype surrounding Theranos years ago.