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New blood test that could identify more than 50 cancers showing promise, researchers say

The test correctly identified two out of every three cancers among 5,000 patients who had visited their GP.

A new cancer blood test that could detect more than 50 types of cancer has shown promise, researchers have said.

The test correctly identified two out of every three cancers among 5,000 who had visited their GP.

This is part of a major trial by the University of Oxford which set out to assess the performance of the MCED test Gallleri.

It tested the blood of people who were sent to one of five rapid referral pathways by their GP because they were displaying symptoms that could have been cancer.

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75% of those testing positive on the blood test were found to have cancer while 2.5% who tested negative were also found to have cancer.

Speaking to the BBC, lead researcher Prof Mark Middleton said: ‘The test was 85% accurate in detecting the source of the cancer - and that can be really helpful because so many times it is not immediately obvious when you have got the patient in front of you what test is needed to see whether their symptoms are down to cancer.’

This study is one of the UK-based clinical trials that the test developer GRAIL is supporting along with the NHS-Galleri trial.

Initial results from the NHS-Galleri trial are expected this year and could potentially see the test rolled out to more people if successful.

Collective results from both trials could see the MCED technology included in routine visits with healthcare providers such as GPs and non-hospital settings.

Dr David Crosby from Cancer Research UK responded to news with: ‘The findings from the study suggest this test could be used to support GPs to make clinical assessments - but much more research is needed, in a larger trial, to see if it could improve GP assessment and ultimately patient outcomes.’