This revolutionary new blood test detects 50 different types of cancer

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A new test could help doctors discover cancer in patients much earlier, thus increasing the possibility of providing life-saving care.

According to new reports, the Mayo Clinic plans to launch a new blood test that can detect more than 50 different types of cancer. The Mayo Clinic plans to start using the test before the end of the year, and some believe it could be a game changer. It was developed by a company called GRAIL and will be known as the Grail Galleri test.

Blood tests that detect cancer could save lives

Man preparing for blood test in clinic
Doctor preparing the patient for blood sampling. Image source: Yakobchuk Olena / Adobe

Finding out that you or a loved one has cancer can be terrifying. However, doctors say that the earlier the cancer is detected, the better the chances of fighting it. Thanks to new technology and a new blood test, we may see these possibilities increase even more in the future.

“If tumors can be detected early, we can greatly improve patient outcomes,” says Dr. Julia Feygin said CBS Minnesota. According to Feygin, our blood contains a DNA signature, and the test tracks the DNA a cancer cell loses to determine if the patient is suffering from some type of cancerous disease.

“We can find and sequence these tiny pieces of tumor-derived DNA in the blood, and based on the patterns we see, we can reveal if a signal for cancer is present,” said Dr. Feygin explained further. An interventional study conducted by clinics including the Mayo Clinic returned 20 signals out of 6,600 participants. A separate study found a false positive rate of less than 1%, making the test extremely accurate.

It does not replace current cancer detection methods

Patient Carole Linderman has her blood drawn for a liquid biopsy, during an appointment at Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Many studies suggest that liquid biopsy results largely mirror those of tissue and sometimes find multiple mutations. Image source: AP Photo / Jacqueline Larma

Doctors say the new test will not completely replace current cancer detection methods such as mammograms. Instead, it will complement the testing options doctors already offer patients. It will also not be available to anyone. The test is intended for people with a high risk of cancer. Dr. Feygin states that those risk factors can be as simple as age or general health.

Although it already has some screening methods in place, the American Cancer Society says 71% of cancer deaths come from types that have no recommended screening option. With this new blood test, however, doctors may have a better chance of contracting those tumors before they lose control.

CBS Minnesota reports that the test will cost $ 949. The test will not be covered by insurance. It also requires a prescription, so patients will need to speak to their doctor to get it. The creators of the test are still working on full FDA approval. If nothing comes out, however, we could see this test in use by the end of 2021.

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