New blood test has been shown to detect more than 50 types of cancer, company says

A healthcare company says a new test it has developed can spot more than 50 types of cancer using only a sample of a person’s blood.

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GRAIL, a California-based company, developed the blood test, called Galleri. According to GRAIL, the test can detect difficult-to-find cancers such as pancreatic and ovarian cancers.

“If cancers can be detected early, we can dramatically improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Julia Feygin, senior medical science liaison at GRAIL, Inc.

The Galleri test is recommended for use in adults with an elevated risk for cancer, such as those aged 50 or older, the company’s website read. It is intended to be used in addition to and not replace other cancer screening tests a doctor may recommend.

Some 134,000 people have been enrolled in clinical study programs to test the effectiveness of multi-cancer early detection technologies. In addition, GRAIL partnered with the Mayo Clinic for trials of the test.

The test looks for DNA a cancer cell sheds, according to Feygin.

“We can find and sequence these tiny bits of tumor-derived DNA in the blood and, based on the patterns we see, we can reveal if there is a signal for cancer present. We can predict with very high accuracy where in the body this cancer signal is coming from,” Feygin said.

Right now, the test must be ordered by a health care provider and is not covered by insurance. It costs $949.

Two samples of blood are drawn and sent to GRAIL for testing. The results are sent to a person’s health care provider within 10 days.

Dr. Minetta Liu, a Mayo Clinic oncologist who was involved in the test’s development, said when a cancer signal is detected, the Galleri test can identify where in the body the cancer is located with high accuracy. Advance detection will give people a better chance when fighting the disease.

“Today, many cancers are found too late, leading to poor outcomes,” Dr. Liu said. “The ability to detect cancer early is critical to successful treatment.”

According to a news release from the Mayo Clinic, the Galleri test detected more than 50 types of cancers — more than 45 of which have no recommended screening tests today. The tests had a false-positive rate of less than 1%.

According to GRAIL, Galleri will be available at Mayo Clinic locations in Rochester, Minnesota, Jacksonville, Florida, and Phoenix by the end of the year. It will also be available at Mayo Clinic Health System sites in southern Minnesota and Wisconsin.