Published on October 14, 2022
For most mesothelioma patients, early diagnosis leads to more effective treatment and longer survival. But symptoms of the rare, asbestos-related disease don’t present until the tumors are well established, and more advanced the disease presents treatment challenges. A new test developed by healthcare company Grail may offer an important tool in the quest for earlier diagnosis.
Can Multi-Cancer Early Detection Blood Test Boost Mesothelioma Options?
Though it is not yet clear whether the Galleri blood test detects malignant mesothelioma, physicians treating patients at risk for the asbestos-related disease are hopeful that it will. The test was the subject of a 3,500-patient study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic that found it to be remarkably effective at identifying the presence of cancer.
According to a press release issued by Grail, the test can detect more than 50 types of cancer through a blood sample. The test searches for changes in the DNA that signal the presence of cancer and then predicts where the cancer is located in the body. Though there were no mesothelioma patients among the 2,823 cancer patients (and 1,254 cancer-free patients) who participated in the study, there is hope that the test will be useful for those at risk for the rare and fatal disease.
Accuracy of Ground-Breaking Blood Test Offers Hope for Mesothelioma Patients
Though the Cleveland Clinic study did not include mesothelioma patients, researchers did find it to be accurate in other rare cancer tests. This was particularly noteworthy because there are currently no screening tests available for many of those cancers. It also found that the more advanced the cancer’s stage, the greater the test’s accuracy.
Speaking of the test’s potential, Cleveland Clinic physician Dr. Eric Klein said, “Finding cancer early, when treatment is more likely to be successful, is one of the most significant opportunities we have to reduce the burden of cancer. These data suggest that, if used alongside existing screening tests, the multi-cancer detection test could have a profound impact on how cancer is detected and, ultimately, on public health.” While studies of its usefulness will continue, the test is already available for physicians to use.
If you or someone you love is at risk for malignant mesothelioma, the availability of state-of-the-art testing and treatment is essential. For more information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.
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Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.
Learn more about and contact Terri