Drive to end cancer could pioneer diagnostic technology

GRAIL, the developer of multi-cancer early detection test Galleri, is building on its earlier commercial partnership with the UK’s National Health Service. That partnership aims to confirm Galleri’s clinical and economic performance in the UK healthcare system, which is one step toward regular use by the NHS.

GRAIL recently presented its first results for PATHFINDER, an interventional study evaluating Galleri, specifically studying people ages 50 and older because of their increased risk of cancer. None of the study participants had suspicion of active cancer when the research began.

Preliminary data from the PATHFINDER study shows that it detected 29 different individual cancers across 13 types of cancer including some that have no current screening tests available such as pancreatic cancer and liver cancer.

To detect the cancer DNA in the blood, GRAIL uses next-generation sequencing, population-scale clinical studies, and computer and data science. When a cancer is detected, Galleri can tell with high accuracy where the cancer’s tissue of origin is located.

Data recently published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research also demonstrate the ability of Galleri to detect cancers that are more aggressive than would be expected of the cancer’s type or stage, or the age of the patient.

Galleri could help increase longevity because the likelihood of age-related illnesses means the blood test will be collecting a whole range of biomarkers, not just those for cancer. As the data supply grows and is analyzed, biomarker trends and trials could lead to Galleri’s adaptation into a test for numerous diseases of aging.

GRAIL has announced a real-world evidence study it plans to establish. Called REFLECTION, the study will be to determine the clinical outcomes and experiences of 35,000 U.S. residents being prescribed the Galleri test through a healthcare provider. Galleri will be offered to eligible patients in the UK later in 2021 as a partnership with the UK National Health Service.

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