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Tue Apr 16, 2024, 06:50 PM Apr 16

A blood test to detect cancer? Some patients are using them already. [View all]

When her husband was undergoing cancer treatment, Cindy Perez of Southwest Ranches, Fla., learned about a new blood test that could help find early cancers. The 50-year-old said she felt fine, but her husband urged her to take the test anyway.

To her surprise, the blood test — called Galleri — came back positive. Scans revealed a small tumor in her groin and a diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma, a rare but aggressive form of cancer. She was treated and now, two years later, she’s in remission. “For me, the test was a miracle,” she said. “A real big miracle.”

Many experts believe that such tests, which analyze substances in the blood that might indicate cancer, represent a remarkable new chapter in cancer detection. The tests may be especially useful finding “silent” cancers — such as pancreatic or ovarian cancer — which often don’t cause symptoms until the disease is advanced and more difficult to treat.

“It opens up a whole new world,” said Eric Klein, a scientist at the health-care company Grail who developed Galleri, a multi-cancer detection test. “It’s the unmet need we face in cancer.”


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