Conor Hale in Fierce Biotech:
New, early data from Grail showed its liquid biopsy test not only was able to detect the presence of 12 different kinds of early-stage cancer but could also identify the disease’s location within the body before it spreads using signatures found in the bloodstream. The test also demonstrated a very low rate of false positives, at 1% or less. The former Fierce 15 winner presented the returns from a substudy of its Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas (CCGA) project at this year’s annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago. Detection rates varied among the dozen prespecified and potentially fatal types of tumors in earlier stages—from 59% in lung cancers up to 86% in cancers of the head and neck. When analyzed by cancer stage, the test showed sensitivity rates of 34%, 77%, 84% and 92% across all tumor types, from stage I to stage IV, respectively. Additionally, tissue-of-origin results were provided for 94% of all cancers detected, with correct identifications being made in 90% of cases.
…“The high detection rate of stage II cancers at 77 percent in the group of 12 deadly cancers is particularly compelling and supports the potential benefit of our multi-cancer approach,” said Klausner, a former director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute. The study’s 12 cancer types—and the test’s sensitivity rates for detecting stage I-III disease—included anorectal (79%), colorectal (74%), esophageal (76%), gastric (78%), head and neck (86%), hormone receptor negative breast (64%), liver (68%), lung (59%), ovarian (67%) and pancreatic (78%) tumors, as well as multiple myeloma (71%) and lymphomas (70%), excluding leukemias. According to Grail, these cancer types account for nearly two-thirds of all cancer deaths in the U.S., with the test demonstrating an overall detection rate of 76% across all stages.