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News & Trends - Biotechnology

Multi-cancer blood test expands data in over 20 disease types

Health Industry Hub | September 30, 2019 |

Grail, a healthcare company focused on the early detection of cancer, shared new data supporting its technology to detect cancer at early stages with a single blood test at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2019 Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

“Most cancers go undetected until too late, and cancer remains the second leading cause of death worldwide. To address this challenge, we embarked on one of the most ambitious clinical study programs in genomic medicine in support of a novel multi-cancer approach to early cancer detection,” said Anne-Renee Hartman, MD, Vice President of Clinical Development at Grail.

“We are pleased to be presenting new data from our large-scale, rigorous clinical study program that demonstrate the ability of our test to detect more than 20 cancer types across all stages from a single blood draw, and identify where the cancer is located in the body, while minimising the rate of false positives.”

Grail will also present additional new data from its ongoing studies evaluating its multi-cancer early detection test at ASCO Breakthrough taking place October 11-13, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Grail’s Investigational Multi-Cancer Early Detection Test

Grail is developing a next-generation sequencing (NGS) blood test for the early detection of multiple deadly cancer types. Grail’s high efficiency methylation technology preferentially targets the most informative regions of the genome and is designed to use its proprietary database and machine-learning algorithms to both detect the presence of cancer and identify the tumor’s tissue of origin. Grail’s sequencing database of cancer and non-cancer methylation signatures is believed to be the largest of its kind and covers approximately 30 million methylation sites across the genome. More than 20 cancer types across stages are represented within the database.

DNA methylation is a natural process used by cells to regulate gene expression. It is a chemical modification to DNA and a well-studied epigenomic feature of the genome. In cancer, abnormal methylation patterns and the resulting changes in gene expression can contribute to tumor growth. For example, hypermethylation can cause tumor-suppressor genes to be inactivated. 

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