Mercy hospital is a part of something that could be ground breaking in catching cancer early. In the near future all patients would need to detect 14 different types of cancers is a simple blood draw. The study as a whole is looking for 10,000 people to participate.
So far, there are 15 patients participating in the cancer study at Mercy hospital in Joplin.
GRAIL will take a look at the blood samples and use gene sequencing to find out what's the difference between the samples of people with and without cancer.
"If they are a control patient, meaning that they don't have cancer but have been screened for cancer, we will take eight viles of blood from them, so we will do a blood draw and send that blood off to the sponsor for them to anayize their blood." The study also requires a second kind of patient.
"If it's a patient who has cancer, as long as they have been diagnosed and not received treatment, we send a piece of their tissue from their biopsy to the same sponsor. And we also send 8 viles of blood from that patient as well to be analyzed" says oncologist Dr. Dalia.
One of the patients with a recent cancer diagnosis is nurse Gina Elliott, who isn't just about to start fighting her own cancer, but hopes to help other as well by being in the study.
"When I heard about it and they asked me would you consider that?' I think instantly I said yes I would. It's a positive focus and I want positive things in my life right now and learning about new things that can help us, help all of us, I want ot be apart of that. "
Gina's husband Garrett, who is a cancer survivor himself takes no surprise at her decision to join the study.
"Well this is who Gina is, she's always been caring for other people, taking care of other people and advocating for other people" says Garret.
Earlier detection of cancer won't only boost the survival rate.
"The earlier you catch cancer, sometimes the treatments the treatments on patients can be easier as well"
Until then, Gina is just working towards the day she can ring the bell to celebrate the end of her treatments.
Mercy patients considering participating in the study can contact Esmeralda Carrillo at 417-556-3074.
If you are not a Mercy patient and would like to enroll, call 417-827-7722 to make an appointment with a cancer specialist. GRAIL will give you a 25 dollar gift card.
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