A simple blood test can detect more than 50 types of cancer early, making it a promising tool for early detection and treatment.
The test, developed by California-based biotech company GRAIL, Inc., uses genomic sequencing technology to detect methylation or chemical changes in the DNA that control gene expression.
What is the GRAIL Blood Test?
The GRAIL Blood Test is an advanced, first-of-its-kind diagnostic early cancer detection test. It is designed to detect signs of more than 50 types of cancer through a simple blood draw. The test looks for a signal shared across multiple cancer types, which enables early detection and improved health outcomes. Updated data suggest the diagnostic is highly accurate and has the potential to make multi-cancer screening clinically and economically viable.
A machine learning application identifies patterns of irregularities in the DNA indicative of cancer.
The Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study found that the test had a sensitivity of 51.5% across cancer types and stages and a specificity of 99.5%, meaning that it correctly identified the tissue in which the cancer was located in 88.7% of cases.
What types of cancer does the GRAIL test detect?
The GRAIL blood test is able to detect over 50 types of cancer, including some which may be asymptomatic and difficult to diagnose. The test also looks for mutations in the tumor DNA that can help guide treatment decisions for patients with late-stage cancer. It is now available in the United States by prescription for those with an elevated risk of developing cancer.
- Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma
- Ampulla of Vater
- Appendix, Carcinoma
- Bile Ducts, Distal
- Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic
- Bile Ducts, Perihilar
- Bladder, Urinary
- Colon and Rectum
- Esophagus and Esophagogastric Junction
- Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
- Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasms
- Lymphoma (Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin)
- Melanoma of the Skin
- Mesothelioma, Malignant Pleural
- Merkel Cell Carcinoma
- Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinuses
- Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Appendix
- Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Colon and Rectum
- Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Pancreas
- Oral Cavity
- Oropharynx (HPV-Mediated, p16+)
- Oropharynx (p16-) and Hypopharynx
- Ovary, Fallopian Tube and Primary Peritoneum
- Pancreas, exocrine
- Plasma Cell Myeloma and Plasma Cell Disorders
- Small Intestine
- Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the Abdomen and Thoracic Visceral Organs
- Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the Head and Neck
- Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the Retroperitoneum
- Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the Trunk and Extremities
- Soft Tissue Sarcoma Unusual Histologies and Sites
- Uterus, Carcinoma and Carcinosarcoma
- Uterus, Sarcoma
- Ureter (and Renal Pelvis)
How Much Does a GRAIL Test Cost?
The test costs $949 and has limited insurance coverage. It includes the Galleri test, as well as blood draw services. Critics worry that the cost of annual screenings for everyone over 50 may be too expensive.
However, with the GRAIL test, early detection of cancer can make treatment more effective and cost-effective in the long run. Late-stage cancer treatment is costly and not nearly as successful.
Where can you get the GRAIL Test?
GRAIL’s Galleri® multi-cancer early detection test is available at select healthcare centers across the United States.
Fountain Life offers the GRAIL test at their clinics around the United States, Canada, and other countries.
Henry Ford Health and Manulife are two of the organizations offering access to the test. Additionally, Community Health Network offers the GRAIL test to patients considered “at risk” for cancer.
Once a patient has taken the GRAIL test, results typically come back within two weeks.
GRAIL Website >> Grail.com