Contrary to what we’ve heard these past few years, cancer remains the leading cause of death, with more than 600,000 Americans estimated to die of some form of cancer in 2021. Many of these deaths occur because the cancer was discovered too late to respond to treatment. Thus, early detection saves lives.
Two decades ago, the Human Genome Project, funded by Congress, “ushered in the era of precision medicine.”
“Cancer is a disease of the genome” and “we now know that these DNA fragments and their cancer-specific signals can be detected to identify cancer from a simple blood draw” said GRAIL Healthcare’s Dr. Joshua Ofman, chief medical officer and head of external affairs.
This new blood test from GRAIL, called Galleri, “can detect early stages of cancer before a person has symptoms.”
In clinical studies, an earlier version of Galleria showed the ability to detect more than 50 types of cancer, 45 of which lack recommended screening – through a simple blood draw.”
Ofman continued by saying, “When a cancer signal is detected in these [clinical] trials, the test also pinpoints where the cancer is located in the body with high accuracy. This helps healthcare providers to determine next steps for diagnosis and care.”
Amazing stuff – but there’s more: “Ofman said that the cancers responsible for 71 percent of cancer deaths have no recommended early detection screening. By adding Galleri to existing screening tests, Ofman noted, there’s the potential to reduce late-stage cancer diagnoses (stage 3 and 4) by two-thirds.”
This blood test will be available sometime this year in Minnesota via the Mayo Clinic, who participated in one of the early clinical trials for this revolutionary test.