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Multi-Cancer Early Detection Test Could Become a Game-Changing Screening Tool

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Feb 2022
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Image: Galleri Multi-Cancer Test (Photo courtesy of GRAIL, LLC)
Image: Galleri Multi-Cancer Test (Photo courtesy of GRAIL, LLC)

A first-of-kind multi-cancer early detection test can detect over 50 types of cancers with a low false positive rate through a single blood draw.

GRAIL, LLC’s (Menlo Park, CA, USA) Galleri multi-cancer test has the potential to transform cancer care by reducing cancer deaths and decreasing healthcare costs by detecting more cancers earlier.

The Galleri test uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) and machine-learning algorithms to analyze methylation patterns of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in the bloodstream that could indicate the presence of cancer. All cells - cancer and non-cancer - shed DNA into the bloodstream. cfDNA can carry cancer-specific information in its methylation patterns. DNA methylation is a process used by cells to regulate gene expression.

In cancer, abnormal methylation patterns and the resulting changes in gene expression can contribute to tumor growth. Therefore, certain DNA methylation patterns can serve as a signal of cancer and provide information about the cancer signal’s origin. Through its proprietary methylation technology, the Galleri test can detect the presence of more than 50 types of cancer and predict the origin of the cancer signal with high accuracy.

The Galleri test can be included in a routine visit with one’s healthcare provider through a simple blood draw. The Galleri test is recommended for use in adults with an elevated risk for cancer, such as those aged 50 or older. It is intended to be used in addition to and not replace other cancer screening tests recommended by one’s healthcare provider.

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