New blood test detects cancers
Galleri, which is not covered by insurance, costs $949 and must be ordered by a licensed health care provider
Galleri looks for signals present in the blood stream that may be associated with cancer at the time of a blood draw.
The test uses next-generation sequencing and machine-learning algorithms to analyze methylation patterns of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in the bloodstream, which can carry cancer-specific information. DNA methylation is a process used by cells to regulate gene expression. If a cancer signal is detected, Galleri will pinpoint where in the body the cancer is coming from to help health care providers determine the appropriate next steps for patient treatment.
Currently, recommended cancer screenings in the U.S. only cover five different types of cancer and can only screen for one type at a time. According to Grail, 71% of cancer deaths are caused by cancers that are not commonly screened for.
I suspect that at some point insurance companies will cover this test because the early detection should save money in the treatment process.