BOISE, Idaho — GRAIL was created to find ways to detect cancer in its early stages to make treatment more effective.
According to the Associated Press, preliminary numbers show that 2020 will go down as the deadliest year in the United States History fueled by more than 300,000 Americans losing their lives because of COVID-19.
However, heart disease remains the number one killer, and close behind is cancer, but GRAIL is developing a new screening test they plan on unveiling in 2021.
“We have been fighting a war on cancer for decades now despite a lot of technological advancements. It is not a war that we are winning," said Dr. Joshua Ofman, the Chief Medical Officer at GRAIL. "Cancer is about to become the number one cause of death worldwide, and we are losing 1,700 loved ones every day to cancer in this country.”
There are five major screenings that happen when it comes to cancer, those include lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer.
But Dr. Ofman tells us a new test will expand those screenings in an effort to detect cancer in its early stages and give cancer patients a better chance at recovery.
"We have developed a test that can look for 50 cancers with a single blood test, and that’s the test that GRAIL will bring to market next year. It is called Galleri," said Dr. Ofman. “It has very few false positives, and when a cancer is there, we can predict where in the body it is with about 90 percent accuracy.”
Currently, the Galleri test is in clinical trials, but when it becomes available, people would only need to get a blood test once a year.
This comes at an important time, according to Dr. Ofman. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Cancer Institute has estimated that 80 percent of people have missed their cancer screenings.
Dr. Ofman said that will have consequences in the future, but he also believes COVID-19 could change the health care system in a positive way.
“We know that we need to make a transition in our health care system. We have to move away from this 'break it and fix it' health care system to a health care system that is really more focused on prevention and early detection," said Dr. Ofman. "In many ways, COVID is accelerating that change.”