GRAIL LLC, a healthcare company whose mission is to detect cancer early when it can be cured, and Ochsner Health (Ochsner) announce a multi-faceted partnership to improve cancer detection rates in Louisiana using Galleri, GRAIL’s multi-cancer early detection (MCED) blood test. Ochsner, through a collaboration between its Ochsner Cancer Institute and Precision Medicine program, will offer the Galleri test by prescription to eligible patients in Louisiana to advance the delivery of cancer care. 

The partnership includes the launch of a MCED Health Equity Demonstration Program, an initiative to improve cancer detection rates for underserved populations in Louisiana and to develop a model for deployment of innovative technologies in community settings. In addition to deploying Galleri, the initiative includes identification of educational and access gaps and barriers to cancer screening, co-creation and development of patient education materials, and community outreach to improve awareness and education about early cancer detection. Utilization of GRAIL’s REFLECTION registry program and other Ochsner data will evaluate the impact of the three-year program, with results to be published following the program’s conclusion.

“Unfortunately, Louisiana has some of the nation’s highest cancer death rates, but we are making strides every year in identifying cancers early through screenings,” said Brian Moore, MD, FACS, medical director, Ochsner Cancer Institute. “For those cancers that are historically not diagnosed quickly, offering Galleri to our patients will be revolutionary.”

More than 600,000 people die from cancer each year in the U.S., including more than 9,600 in Louisiana, according to the American Cancer Society. This is in large part because some of the deadliest cancers are found too late when outcomes are often poorer. Recommended screening tests save lives, but only cover five cancer types in the U.S.: breast, colon, cervical, prostate, and, in high-risk adults, lung. In fact, 71% of cancer deaths have no recommended early detection screening. 

“This partnership with GRAIL reinforces and aligns with our Healthy State initiative, a 10-year commitment to improving the overall health of the state, which includes collaborations and continued investment in the health of our communities,” said Warner Thomas, president and CEO, Ochsner Health. “Through this partnership, we have an opportunity to take a key step toward our goals by addressing an important health equity issue in Louisiana and supporting more than 7,500 underserved patients who visit our community centers.”

In a clinical study, the Galleri test demonstrated the ability to detect a shared signal from more than 50 types of cancer, as defined by the American Joint Committee on Cancer Staging Manual, over 45 of which lack recommended screening tests today. GRAIL’s Galleri test has a false positive rate under 1% and it can predict where cancer originated with 89% accuracy.      

“We are excited to join forces with Ochsner in this effort as both organizations have a shared vision for increasing early cancer detection and a focus on improving outcomes in underserved communities,” said Bob Ragusa, chief executive officer at GRAIL. “By jointly launching a real-world evidence program to evaluate the impact of Galleri, we can not only help make a difference for underserved populations, but also collect critical insights that will help us develop a best-practice roadmap for integrating MCED testing that can be scaled and brought to other communities, helping to bridge the health equity gap in cancer detection.”

Ochsner’s academics and research team will also begin enrolling participants aged 50 years and older who are not actively being evaluated or treated for cancer in the ongoing PATHFINDER 2 study. This is a prospective, multi-center interventional study of the Galleri test that aims to enroll 20,000 participants through healthcare systems in North America. Participants who have a “cancer signal detected” test result will undergo a targeted diagnostic evaluation based on predicted cancer signal origin(s) through the Ochsner Cancer Institute to determine if cancer is present.  

[Source(s): Ochsner Health System, Newswise]