$949 Test Finds Signs of Cancer in Your Blood; Screens for Up to 50 Different Cancers

$949 Test Finds Signs of Cancer in Your Blood; Screens for Up to 50 Different Cancers

“Doctors, researchers and patient advocates are excited about a new blood test that promises to detect cancer early,” reports the Wall Street Journal:

The $949 Galleri liquid biopsy can screen for more than 50 types of cancers. It works by looking for a shared cancer signal in DNA shed by tumors in the bloodstream. More than 130,000 of the prescription-only tests have been sold since Galleri became available in June 2021, according to the test maker Grail, a unit of the gene-sequencing company…The Galleri test is one of many products tapping into affluent and health-obsessed consumers’ appetite for data on their personal health. Some longevity and concierge doctors are offering the test to patients alongside a suite of other new, experimental health screenings including full-body MRI and biological age testing.

Despite the rise in sales and backing from some doctors, others in medicine are preaching caution….In one study, more than half of the people who got a positive result didn’t have cancer.

Getting a false positive can cause worry and lead to unnecessary and costly follow-up procedures…The company and the test’s proponents say the potential benefit of catching cancer earlier outweighs those concerns. The company says it believes making these tests available will increase cancer detection and improve public health.

If you get a positive test result, the company says it isn’t a diagnosis and you should conduct an evaluation with a healthcare provider.

“We still lose 600,000 people a year due to cancer in the U.S., which really speaks to the unmet need and the urgency about this new technology,” says Dr. Eric Klein, distinguished scientist at Grail.

Valerie Caro, a real-estate broker in Flagstaff, Ariz., first learned about the test in a book by Tony Robbins. She was curious enough to ask a doctor about it despite having no symptoms. Two practitioners declined to prescribe it before she got a prescription through Grail’s telehealth service in summer 2022.

The test flagged a possible cancer signal in her gallbladder or pancreas, and after several follow-up procedures including an MRI and gallbladder-removal surgery, she learned that a stage-two 4.3-cm cancerous tumor was nestled in her gallbladder. A year later, she says, she credits the test with saving her life.

“That’s what happens when you catch it early,” says Caro, 55. “I was running offense on my health.”

Galleri is one of few commercially available tests known as multicancer early detection, or MCED. None are Food and Drug Administration-approved or recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Even if this test is useful in saving lives, or is improved, the FDA will still take years to approve it.  FDA employees can take many years to approve life-saving drugs and medical devices.The FDA didn’t approve a home test for HIV until 24 years after it first received an application. An FDA advisory committee noted that the test held “the potential to prevent the transmission of more than 4,000 new HIV infections in its first year of use alone.” That means thousands of people got infected with AIDS as a result of the delay in approving it. As Fortune noted, the FDA’s delay in approving the home HIV test was a “scandal.”

Doctors recently used a surgical robot to carry out incredibly complicated spinal surgery. Doctors recently did the first robotic liver transplant in America. Robots can fit in small spaces in people’s bodies that a surgeon can’t reach without cutting through living tissue, or doing other collateral damage.

Scientists also recently came up with an “inverse vaccine” that has shown it can treat auto-immune diseases in a lab setting, creating hope that doctors will be able to use it to reverse devastating diseases like multiple sclerosis.

In other news, artificial wombs could be coming soon, to prevent premature babies from dying or being permanently disabled due to premature life outside the womb. Doctors are already beginning to do womb transplants. A woman who was previously unable to have children recently received her sister’s womb in the first womb transplant in the United Kingdom.

A new ultrasound therapy could help treat cancer and Alzheimer’s disease and skull implants could fight depression.

Artificial intelligence is now developing highly-effective antibodies to fight disease. Doctors overseas are using artificial intelligence to detect cases of breast cancer more effectively.

Scientists recently developed a treatment for alcoholism that reduces drinking by 90% among lab monkeys.

90% of those with cystic fibrosis will get a new lease on life with a new breakthrough drug, assuming the FDA doesn’t block it.

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


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