Researchers have claimed that the Galleri blood test, which can detect more than 50 cancers, identified two out of every three cancers among 5,000 patients who visited their GPs with worrying symptoms in England and Wales.
Moreover, in 85% of these cases the test was able to pinpoint the original site of the cancer.
This represents a major and exciting development in such an early stage of the trial, which Oxford University researchers say is still a ‘work in progress’.
Over 350 of those in the study were subsequently diagnosed with cancer, using traditional methods such as scans and biopsies, with three quarters of those testing positive on the blood test being diagnosed, while just 2.5% who tested negative were found to have cancer.
The lead researcher, Professor Mark Middleton, told BBC News that while the test is not yet accurate enough to provide a definitive, accurate diagnosis, it is an extremely reliable indicator of those who require further investigation.
Initial results from the complete trial are expected next year and, if successful, NHSE are prepared to roll-out the test to a further million people in 2024 and 2025.
Most promisingly, the test has shown an ability to detect cancers which are traditionally hard to diagnose, such as bowel, lung and pancreatic cancers.