A Michigan hospital network is the first in Michigan to receive a blood test technology that detects cancer early, when it can be cured.
Henry Ford Health, which has several hospitals in the Metro Detroit area, is among an early group of healthcare providers that will offer Galleri, a “Multi-Cancer Early Detection (MCED) blood test” developed by the healthcare company GRAIL.
The blood test, according to research that went into developing it, can detect a cancer signal shared across more than 50 types of cancer through a single blood draw.
All cells in the body release DNA into the bloodstream, but DNA from cancer cells is different from the DNA of healthy cells.
According to joint press release by Henry Ford and GRAIL, the Galleri test looks at the DNA in a patient’s blood to determine if any of it may have come from cancer cells.
In a clinical study, the Galleri test demonstrated the ability to detect a shared signal from more than 50 types of cancer, more than 45 of which lack recommended screening tests today.
The test also detected some cancer types, such as pancreatic, ovarian and esophageal, that currently lack routine recommended screening guidelines.
“This can provide a way to detect cancers earlier that are often not detected until a later stage,” said Ben Movsas, M.D., medical director of the Henry Ford Health Cancer.
“We are entering an era of unprecedented ability to detect cancer at its earliest stages, which may ultimately help save many lives,” said Adnan Munkarah, M.D., chief clinical officer at Henry Ford Health. “Diagnosing and treating cancer at an earlier stage often leads to more favorable outcomes. We are excited to offer this MCED blood test, which research shows can detect a cancer signal shared across more than 50 types of cancer through a single blood draw.”
Final results from an interventional study, the first “PATHFINDER” study, that examined how well an MCED test can be integrated into clinical practice, were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2022. The study showed Galleri’s performance was consistent with findings from previous observational and case-controlled studies, underscoring the potential real-world ability of Galleri to find more cancers in earlier stages, the release read.
Galleri is available by physician order only. Those who may be interested in the Galleri test should consult with their Henry Ford primary care physician to determine whether the test is appropriate for them.
The test is not currently covered by insurance and is available at an out-of-pocket cost. The list price for the Galleri test is $949, but cost may vary depending on the healthcare practice or provider
The hospital said patients may be eligible to participate in the interventional PATHFINDER 2 study, which is evaluating the implementation and performance of Galleri in a clinical care setting.
The study is currently enrolling individuals who meet the eligibility requirements, which include:
— 50 years or older and receiving care at Henry Ford Health.
— Have never been diagnosed with cancer or have been cancer-free at least three years.
— Are not participants in previous or ongoing GRAIL sponsored studies.
Henry Ford team members and their dependents who are enrolled in a Health Alliance Plan (HAP) of Michigan insurance plan may be eligible for a test at no cost.
“We believe that multi-cancer early detection tests like Galleri are the new front on the war against cancer and will enable us to dramatically increase cancer detection from screening in the population, with the goal of improving public health,” said Bob Ragusa, chief executive officer at GRAIL. “We are excited to work with Henry Ford Health in adding Galleri as a complement to U.S. guideline-recommended cancer screenings.”