Providence researchers study early detection test that can detect more than 50 cancer types

February 27, 2023

What if a simple blood test could detect multiple types of cancer early enough to make a difference? That’s the game-changing idea behind Galleri®, a blood-based, multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test able to detect more than 50 types of cancer through a single blood draw. That includes dozens of cancers without existing screening tests in the United States today. In fact, the test holds so much promise for the future of cancer care and prevention that Time magazine named it one of the Best Inventions of 2022.

The Galleri test increases the chances of finding cancer early, when more treatment options may be available. Results can also help your healthcare provider guide your next steps. Providence is at the forefront of this effort through a research partnership with California-based company Grail, which developed Galleri.

Changing the conversation about cancer detection and prevention

Because early detection is essential in the fight against cancer, many cancer experts consider MCED tests such as Galleri a significant advancement. In a recent interview, Providence’s Ora Gordon described how strategies like genetic testing and tools like Galleri can empower patients and providers to achieve what she describes as “Precision Prevention.”

With the simplicity of a single blood draw, a low false positive rate (0.5%), and the ability to detect where in the body the cancer signal originated, MCEDs offer the potential to change how people think about cancer prevention, enabling patients and providers to better evaluate cancer risks and take action catch it early. 

In early 2021, Grail announced that Providence would be the first U.S. health system to offer Galleri to complement single cancer screening tests. Now, investigators from the Providence Research Network are taking the next steps to study the Galleri test in real-world settings through a multi-year clinical trial and related research.

“Providence’s Galleri in Action research initiative has allowed us to hear directly from numerous patients, including many at a higher risk of cancer who were previously unaware of multi-cancer early detection tests like Galleri,” explains Benjamin Jones, a project coordinator for the Providence Health Research Accelerator team.” While our research is ongoing, it’s clear that many patients are eager for early detection options, and this work will provide valuable evidence around this promising tool.”

The Galleri in Action Study: Focusing on patients at higher risk of cancer

Genetic testing is available through Providence’s high-risk Genomics clinics to enable patients to understand whether their genetic profile might put them at an elevated risk of cancer. Additionally, patients may already know they are at a higher risk of cancer because of their personal or family history. Providence is interested in exploring whether access to MCED tests like Galleri might be particularly beneficial to these patients.

Providence purchased 5000 of the Galleri tests to offer to higher-risk patients at no cost and will follow the patients over time to measure patient experience, clinical outcomes, and cost-effectiveness.

To learn more about the Galleri in Action study, visit

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