Biotech company mistakenly tells 400 they may have cancer

  • Documents indicate 408 patients received emails saying they may have cancer
  • Grail Inc. said the error was due to a software issue, not a testing issue
  • The blood test is designed to detect over 50 cancers before symptoms appear

This undated fluorescence-colored microscope image made available by the National Institutes of Health in September 2016 shows a culture of human breast cancer cells. (Ewa Krawczyk/National Cancer Institute via AP)

(NewsNation) — Biotech company Grail Inc. says it mistakenly told about 400 people they may have developed cancer.

The company said on Friday that the letters sent out mistakenly were the result of a software issue, and “in no way related to or caused by an incorrect Galleri test result,” according to Reuters.

Galleri, Grail’s flagship cancer detection test, is designed to detect more than 50 types of cancers before symptoms appear.

The test requires a simple blood draw and has been called “revolutionary” and “cutting edge” by British and U.S. health officials, according to the Financial Times.

A total of 408 patients were erroneously informed that the test had detected a sign in their blood potentially indicating cancer, according to an internal company document reviewed by the Financial Times.

Grail said it reached out to impacted patients immediately, adding that no patient health information was breached due to the issue. The software issue has also been resolved, the company said on Friday.


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