Med Sci (Paris)
Volume 32, Number 4, Avril 2016
|Page(s)||417 - 422|
|Published online||02 May 2016|
Le Graal de Grail est-il un mirage ?
Is Grail’s goal feasible?
UMR 7268 ADÉS, Aix-Marseille, Université/EFS/CNRS, Espace éthique méditerranéen, hôpital d’adultes la Timone, 264, rue Saint-Pierre, 13385 Marseille Cedex 05, France
2 CoReBio PACA, case 901, parc scientifique de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 09, France
A newly established company called Grail and spun out from Illumina promises to develop a “liquid biopsy” test suitable for asymptomatic cancer detection and general screening. While the necessary sensitivity may be attainable through ultra-deep sequencing of plasma DNA, it seems unlikely that the extremely high specificity needed to avoid false positives can be reached. This would defeat the purpose of the test, as it has been realized recently that insufficiently specific tests (prostate specific antigen levels for prostate cancer, and possibly frequent mammography for breast cancer) cause harms that outweigh their benefits.
© 2016 médecine/sciences – Inserm
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