Study: Blood test spots multiple cancers even in those without clear symptoms

A simple blood test can screen for more than 50 different cancers, in most cases detecting the disease before any clear symptoms develop, according to a new study.

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The Galleri test can screen for cancers including pancreatic, liver and ovarian cancers, said researchers connected with research on the new test.

The study, called Pathfinder, is being conducted at multiple medical institutions across the United States. The study evaluates the Galleri blood test, one of a number of blood tests being developed by various companies, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

According to the study, more than 6,600 people aged 50 and older displaying no symptoms of a cancer were given the test. Galleri detected a possible cancer “signal” in roughly 1% of people in the study.

When those individuals had more extensive testing, cancer was confirmed in 38%.

Researchers say that when the blood test indicated no cancer was present in a person, it was correct 99% of the time.

The test is not available yet, researchers said.

“This is not ready for prime time,” stressed study co-author Catherine Marinac, a researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

But if further studies confirm the blood test’s usefulness, she said, it could become a “game changer.”

The Galleri test is made by GRAIL, which is a biotech company that is funding the Pathfinder study.

The tests look for biological “signals” that cancer may be present. According to its makers, the test can also predict where in the body the signals come from.

The results were presented Sunday at a meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Paris



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