Cancer is the leading cause of death around the world and is the second most common cause of death in the United States. Thanks to the evolution of modern health sciences, millions of cancer patients successfully beat the disease, but there are millions more who have lower fewerchances of survival due to a late diagnosis.
This is where Galleri comes in. Galleri is an early cancer-detection blood test, manufactured by the parent company GRAIL. GRAIL was first formed in 2016 with the intention of creating a cancer screening test to help detect the disease early on in asymptomatic patients. The test was designed to decrease cancer mortality by providing a timely diagnosis.
In 2021, GRAIL announced that their blood test Galleri is now available across the nation. The announcement came as a result of years of research backed by esteemed institutions like the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and others.
With its advent, questions regarding the new technology of cancer detection have risen–questions such as who can benefit from Galleri and what are its novel benefits.
GRAIL marketed Galleri as a simple blood test in its first-ever press conference but the science behind this simple test is quite complex.
According to health experts, the Galleri test works by detecting the cell-free DNA which is circulating in the blood, derived from the cancer tumor. Using sophisticated machine learning techniques and a targeted methylation bisulfite sequencing assay, Galleri is able to detect the presence of cancer.
This information is quite difficult to grasp for the layman, and in order to understand the Galleri technology, we must first learn that cancer is a disease of the genome, which is made up of DNA.
All of our body cells are made of the same DNA, but the DNA of healthy body cells differ from cancer-carrying DNA cells. These early-detection blood tests look at blood samples for these DNA fragments and the cancer signals that these DNA carry. This helps with the earlier detection of cancer, and can also predict where the cancer originated in the body.
To acquire a Galleri test, you first need a prescription from a health care provider. The procedure is simple: You or your licensed health practitioner can acquire a Galleri kit by completing a form on their website. Next, take your Galleri kit to clinica doctor whereby they will procure two vials of blood drawn from your arm to be sent to a GRAIL lab for testing. Your results would then be processed within ten days. Fingers crossed!