Out of all the dozens of types of cancer that occur in humans, we habitually screen for only five: breast, cervical, colon, prostate, and lung. But what if there were a single test that could detect 50 types of cancer, based on a simple blood draw? That's exactly what's possible today, thanks to the Galleri test, introduced by Grail in 2021. The $949 test, which won breakthrough designation from the FDA in 2019, uses machine learning to assess the patterns of methyl groups—molecules that attach to chromosomes and control gene activity—in free-floating DNA shed by tumors. This week Harry interviews Grail's president, Dr. Josh Ofman, who says that if multi-cancer early detection tests like Galleri are eventually approved for population-level screening, it could help avert 100,000 deaths per year.
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