14 September 2021

Professor Mike Osborn, President of the Royal College of Pathologists, said,

‘This trial has the potential to make earlier diagnosis a reality for many people, across a range of cancers that can be especially difficult to diagnose, such as head-and-neck, stomach, pancreatic, bowel, ovarian and lung cancers. We welcome that the multi-cancer early detection trials using a single blood test are taking place in areas of the UK with some the highest deprivation and with marked health inequalities. There will be a need to assess efficacy across tumour types and stages and address the most appropriate platforms for different disease types. We encourage NHSE to engage  with this discovery.   

‘As with any screening programme, it will be vital to ensure that results are expertly interpreted and we will be very interested to see the results in detail. Should the data stand up to scrutiny and be sufficiently robust for this test to be introduced into standard health care, then there will be a definite need for investment in both workforce and laboratory capacity. This would enable pathologists to undertake the subsequent essential tissue biopsies and molecular testing to allow individualised treatment, tailored for the patient.’