Progress for Grail’s multi-cancer early detection blood test

3 June 2019 (Last Updated June 3rd, 2019 17:24)

Healthcare company Grail has reported positive results from the Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study assessing its multi-cancer blood test.

Progress for Grail’s multi-cancer early detection blood test
Grail is developing a methylation blood test to detect multiple cancer types. Credit: 10918156 from Pixabay.

Healthcare company Grail has reported positive results from the Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study assessing its multi-cancer blood test.

According to the findings, the next-generation sequencing (NGS) test was able to detect a strong signal for 12 cancer types at their early stages with a minimum specificity of 99%.

Grail added that the test also accurately identified the tissue of origin of the cancer.

The cancers included anorectal, colorectal, esophageal, gastric, head and neck, hormone receptor negative breast, liver, lung, ovarian and pancreatic cancers, and also multiple myeloma and lymphoid neoplasms.

Sensitivity of the multi-cancer test for these cancers ranged from 59% to 86% at early stages.

Meanwhile, the test was able to deliver tissue of origin results for 94% of all detected cancers, and correctly identified the tissue of origin in 90% of cases.

CCGA study investigator Minetta Liu said: “These very promising data indicate that a highly specific blood test for early cancer detection is approaching reality.

“The exceptional accuracy in determining the tissue of origin across all stages for those malignancies with significant cancer-specific mortality suggests that, if a cancer is detected, the test will inform where the tumour originated in the majority of cases. This factor is critical to streamline the clinical workup.”

A second case-control sub-study of CCGA is investigating the multi-cancer blood test for its ability to identify cancer and the tissue of origin in 4,500 participants.

“These very promising data indicate that a highly specific blood test for early cancer detection is approaching reality.”

The company reported data from an initial analysis of 2,301 participants, including 1,422 participants with more than 20 cancer types across all stages and 879 participants without diagnosed cancer.

Data revealed an overall detection rate of 55% for more than 20 cancer types in the sub-study across all stages, while a tissue of origin result across these cancer types was provided for 94% of all detected cancers.

Of the detected cancers, the test was able to correctly identify the tissue of origin in 90% of cases.

Last month, Grail secured breakthrough device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its blood test.