Thousands in Elephant and Castle to be invited to mobile clinic that can detect cancer

Charles Harrison (23 November, 2021)

The blood test used by the clinic is particularly effective at finding cancers that are usually difficult to spot early


A mobile clinic capable of detecting more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms arrive will be in Elephant and Castle this week.

Thousands of people aged 50-77 in Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham are being invited to take part in the world’s largest trial for the revolutionary blood test via a letter from the NHS.

Participants, who must not have had a cancer diagnosis or treatment in the last three years, will be invited to book appointments to have a small blood sample taken at a mobile clinic outside Lidl on Old Kent Road from November 24 to December 21. They will be invited back after twelve months, and again at two years, to give further blood samples.

Dr Anthony Cunliffe, Joint Clinical Chair at South East London Cancer Alliance, said: “We’ve been hugely grateful to south east Londoners who have been giving up their time to take part in this ground-breaking trial which has the potential to revolutionise the NHS’s ability to detect cancer earlier.

“Our previous clinic sites at Sydenham and Bromley were booked to capacity so it’s important that if you receive an invitation in the post that you make an appointment as soon as you can.”

This trial is the first of its kind and aims to recruit 140,000 participants nationally for the potentially lifts ring Galleri test.

The test is a simple blood test that research has shown is particularly effective at finding cancers that are difficult to identify early – such as head and neck, bowel, lung, pancreatic, and throat cancers.

It works by finding chemical changes in fragments of genetic code – cell-free DNA (cfDNA) – 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 NHS England and healthcare company, GRAIL, which has developed the Galleri test.

Sir Harpal Kumar, President of GRAIL Europe, said: “The Galleri test can not only detect a wide range of cancer types but can also predict where the cancer is in the body with a high degree of accuracy.

“The test is particularly strong at detecting deadly cancers and has a very low rate of false positives.”

The trial team are inviting people from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities to ensure results are relevant for as many different people as possible.

South East London Cancer Alliance is helping to ensure that participants who test positive in this region get the necessary follow-up appointments.


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