10:47 AM / Monday July 4, 2022

18 Mar 2021

What if one blood test could detect more than 50 types of cancers?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
March 18, 2021 Category: Health Posted by:


Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way, whether it’s a friend or family member facing a diagnosis, or their own worry about susceptibility to the disease. This year alone, roughly 1.8 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. Nearly 1,700 lives are lost to cancer every day.

Despite numerous advances in oncology – the field of medicine that treats cancer – cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is projected to become the first. That’s in large part because most cancers go undetected until it is too late because there is no early screening available today for the majority of deadly cancers. The current guideline-recommended screenings in the U.S., while critical, test for five cancers and screen for one cancer at a time. Cancers without available screening tests account for 71% of all cancer deaths in the U.S.

The importance of early detection


Medical experts agree that early detection of cancer saves lives and correlates with the ability to treat the disease successfully. Because screenings exist for five types of cancer when there are more than 100 types in total, the most pressing unmet need in cancer early detection is to identify cancers for which there are no existing recommended screening tests.

“Late-stage cancer detection is deadly,” says Dr. Joshua Ofman, chief medical officer and external affairs at GRAIL, a company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. “The five-year survival rate of a person diagnosed with cancer once it has already spread is just 21%, compared to an 89% survival rate of someone whose cancer is found in early stages. There is a significant opportunity to reduce cancer deaths through early detection.”

Potentially game-changing technology 

Medical advances are poised to change how cancer can be detected. Researchers have been working hard on a single blood test capable of finding many cancers.

The novel multi-cancer early detection blood test, called Galleri, is developed by GRAIL and expected to be commercially available for the first time in 2021. In a clinical validation study, an earlier version of the test demonstrated the ability to detect more than 50 types of cancers – over 45 of which have no recommended screening today – including at early stages, with a very low false positive rate of less than 1%. When a cancer signal is detected, the test can determine where in the body the cancer signal is located with high accuracy.

“A simple blood test capable of detecting more than 50 types of cancer is a ground-breaking and potentially life-saving advancement that could have a tremendous human and economic benefit,” explains Dr. Minetta Liu, research chair and professor, Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic. “Recent modeling data suggests if all cancers currently diagnosed at stage IV could be detected earlier, evenly distributed across stages I-III, cancer deaths could fall by 24%.”

A new era in early cancer detection

“With the introduction of Galleri, we are approaching a long-awaited and pivotal moment in cancer care, and we are dedicated to bringing this potentially life-saving technology into the hands of patients, providers, and communities,” Ofman says. “We are thrilled to be making a blood test that can detect multiple deadly cancers early a reality.”

Biomedical innovation is evolving, and this new blood test has the potential to save many lives through early detection. To learn more about this technology, visit

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News


Just the beginning

July 1, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Over 150,000 people from around the country participated in the Mass Poor Peoples...


The fine print

July 1, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email While we do need to pay attention to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s...


Community College of Philadelphia to pay off $1.4 million in outstanding student account balances

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Community College of Philadelphia announced that it will pay off more than $1.4...

Color Of Money

Americans still have financial goals, just not sure how they will reach them

June 24, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT If you have a vision for where you’d like to be financially...


Takeaways: Trump’s mind ‘made up’ on fraud ahead of Jan. 6

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: A video exhibit plays as the House select committee investigating the...

Go With The-Flo

Sherri Shepherd’s talk show, “Sherri,” to air in place of former “The Wendy Williams Show”

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Sherri Shepherd (Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock) By Flo Anthony After 13...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff