Blood test technology known as ‘Galleri’ can be used for cancer detection.
By: Adysha Citra Ramadani, Santi Sopia
A blood test is one type of examination that is widely used by doctors for various purposes. One that may be rarely known to the general public is its usefulness for diagnosing cancer.
Cancer Research UK reveals that blood tests can be used to diagnose cancer and other conditions. This type of blood test usually aims to look for tumor markers that are usually elevated in patients with cancer.
“Physicians can use tumor markers to help diagnose a cancer,” explains Cancer Research UK The Sun.
Tumor markers can also help doctors monitor how well therapy is impacting cancer patients. Another function of tumor markers is to provide clues when the cancer returns.
The NHS reveals that blood tests can be used for certain types of cancer. Some of them are breast cancer, uterine cancer, and prostate cancer.
In addition to detecting the presence of cancer, blood tests can also be used to assess a person’s risk or likelihood of developing cancer in the future. One example is a blood test in female patients to check for the BRCA1 and BRCA1 genes. Both of these genes are known to be associated with an increased risk of cancer, especially breast cancer and uterine cancer.
Currently, researchers from England and Wales are developing a new type of blood test that can detect various types of cancer. This blood test is known as the Gallery blood test.
The existence of this new blood test is expected to help many patients find their cancer at an earlier stage. That way, their cancer can be treated more quickly.
The Mayo Clinic has developed a blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer. The test, known as the Galleries, was created in partnership with Menlo Park, the California-based biotechnology and pharmaceutical company Grail.
Dilansi from Fox Business, how Galleri works is to look for signals present in the bloodstream that may be related to cancer at the time of blood collection. This test uses next-generation sequencing and machine learning algorithms to analyze the methylation patterns of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in the bloodstream. So that it can provide specific information about cancer.
DNA methylation is a process used by cells to regulate gene expression. If a cancer signal is detected, the Gallery will pinpoint where the cancer is originating in the body to help healthcare providers determine the appropriate next steps for patient care.
Currently, the recommended cancer screenings in the US cover only five different types of cancer and can only screen for one type at a time. According to the Grail, 71 percent of cancer deaths are caused by cancers that aren’t usually screened for.
Galleries will not be covered by insurance and priced at 949 US dollars. This test must be ordered by a licensed healthcare provider, such as a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. Grail says Galleri currently has 89 percent accuracy in predicting the origin of cancer signals and estimates that about one in every 200 people Galleri tested received a false positive result.
The test results can appear about two weeks after the blood test. Galleri is recommended for use in adults with an increased risk of cancer, such as those 50 years of age or older. In addition, for those who need to receive additional routine cancer screening tests, such as a colonoscopy or mammogram.
Grail is currently working on obtaining full approval for Galleri from the Food and Drug Administration. A Mayo Clinic spokesman has not provided information regarding when the test will become widely available to the public.