The Galleri blood test produced by California biotech company Grail has a long FDA approval process ahead of it. But even so, health officials say it could be a game changer in early cancer diagnosis.

"It's able to detect about 50% of cancers in people ages 50 to 79 whereas our current screening only picks up about 15%, so that's another 35%," said Dr. Suresh Nair with Lehigh Valley Health Network.

LVHN participated in the first round of trials. Nair says at trial there were a small number of false positives. But he says with more research and development, the test could save lives.

Grail says the Galleri test detects cancer through DNA signals in the blood. 90 percent of the time those DNA signals have told scientists exactly what kind of cancer is present.

Grail says the test is also finding signals related to aggressive cancers that currently lack screenings, like pancreatic cancer.

"Instead of only screening for individual cancers this allows us to screen individuals for many cancers," said Dr. Whitney Jones with Grail.

Jones says the hope is that Galleri will become a yearly test for those at risk done in conjunction with other cancer screenings.

The Galleri test is available by prescription. It costs $949 and is not covered by insurance.

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