From By David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH, medical oncologist and co-director of research, OHC

May 30, 2017

David Waterhouse MD OHC Clinical Trials Research Department

David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH,
Co-Chair, Department of Clinical Research, OHC

Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Illumina, and Google Ventures are betting GRAIL will find a cure for cancer.

Researchers at OHC (Oncology Hematology Care) are participating in a clinical trial that, in the near future, could allow people to get a simple blood test to determine if they have cancer cells. Doctors could then treat those cells and possibly cure the cancer while still in a very early stage.

The Circulating Cell-free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study, sponsored by GRAIL Inc., will compare cell-free DNA profiles in people with cancer and in healthy non-cancer people. The study will use GRAIL’s “high-intensity” (ultra-broad and ultra-deep) sequencing approach.

The CCGA study has begun at several leading community and academic medical centers, including OHC here in the Cincinnati area, and eventually will include up to four-dozen clinical trial sites across the U.S. These medical centers will collect blood and tissue samples from patients recently diagnosed with cancer, and blood samples from healthy individuals. In its first phase, the CCGA study will enroll and analyze samples from 10,000 study participants. GRAIL and its advisors believe that studies enrolling tens of thousands of people will be needed to identify the patterns required to detect many types of cancer. To confirm clinical validity and utility of these tests, studies enrolling hundreds of thousands of people will be needed.

“We are very pleased to be working with GRAIL and other collaborators on this landmark study and we have already begun enrolling study participants across our broad network of cancer centers and hospitals in the U.S.,” said David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH, Co-Chair, Department of Clinical Research, OHC. “Detecting cancer at an earlier stage when it can be cured is an ambitious goal with the potential for immeasurable benefit to society. We are proud to join the Cleveland Clinic as the sites in Ohio who are participating in this initiative.”

“Cancer is an incredibly complex and heterogeneous disease, making accurate, early stage detection extremely difficult,” said Brian Druker, M.D., Director, Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University; JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and a member of GRAIL’s Scientific Advisory Board. “The oncology field needs the expertise and resources to build the technology infrastructure to collect, analyze, categorize and use vast amounts of data. The CCGA study represents a critically important step in establishing this foundational knowledge.”

For more information about the study, click here.

About OHC

At OHC, the search for new treatments is relentless, the drive to provide superior care runs deep and the fight against cancer is personal. Our independent, physician-led practice is recognized for going beyond clinical excellence, providing unrestricted personal support and genuine emotional caring in familiar, neighborhood locations throughout the region. At OHC: Renowned experts aggressively attack your cancer with every possible strategy; our in-house, nationally-recognized clinical trials team is engaged in a passionate search for innovative treatment options; and counselors and advisors help you manage finances, understand your disease and gain power over cancer’s impact on your personal life. OHC has been fighting cancer on the front lines for over three decades. We are now one of the nation’s largest independent oncology practices, as well as the region’s premier source of treatment for nearly every form of cancer and complex blood disorder. At its heart, our approach to cancer care is simple – to surround you with everything you need so you can focus on what matters most: beating cancer.


GRAIL is a life sciences company whose mission is to detect cancer early when it can be cured. GRAIL combines the power of high-intensity sequencing (ultra-broad and ultra-deep sequencing), leading-edge computer science, and large population-scale clinical studies to enhance the scientific understanding of cancer biology and develop a blood test for early-stage cancer detection. The company has secured over $100 million in Series A financing from Illumina, Inc. and ARCH Venture Partners, with participating investors including Bezos Expeditions, Bill Gates, Sutter Hill Ventures, and GV (formerly Google Ventures). For more information, please visit

Sources: Grail, Inc., GlobeNewswire

Comments (2)

2 responses to “Clinical Trial to Study Blood Test That Detects Cancer Early”

  1. daniel bray says:

    How to become involved in the trial blood test for cancer

    • OHC says:

      Dear Mr. Bray,

      Thank you for your interest in the research to develop a blood test for cancer. This exciting clinical trial is now closed and researchers are using the data to determine the next steps toward developing a blood test to detect cancer. We expect an update in the near future and will post the information on our web site. You can also watch for updates from the study sponsor, GRAIL, at

      OHC and the cancer research community appreciate your interest. We look forward to sharing more promising news on this development and other cancer advancements.

      Best regards,

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