Wednesday June 26, 2019
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GRAIL Announces Significant Progress on Blood Tests to Detect Cancer

Grail's new results are from 2,300 people

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GRAIL, Blood Tests, Detect, Cancer
FILE A patient has her blood drawn at a hospital in Philadelphia to monitor her cancer treatment. VOA

A California company says its experimental blood test was able to detect many types of cancer at an early stage and gave very few false alarms in a study that included people with and without the disease.

Many companies are trying to develop early detection “liquid biopsy” tests that capture bits of DNA that cancer cells shed into blood.

GRAIL, Blood Tests, Detect, Cancer
A California company says its experimental blood test was able to detect many types of cancer at an early stage. VOA

Grail’s new results are from 2,300 people. The test detected 55% of known cancers and gave false alarms for 1%. It also accurately suggested where the cancer may be about 90% of the time.

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The company gave results in news release Friday and will report them Saturday at a conference in Chicago. They have not been published or reviewed by other scientists. (VOA)

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Jury Grants $2 Billion to Couple Claiming ‘Glysophate’ in Roundup Weed Killer Caused Cancer

Vietnam said it would stop importing Roundup and other weed killers with the ingredient

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FILE - Containers of Roundup are displayed on a store shelf in San Francisco, Feb. 24, 2019. VOA

For the third time in less than a year, a jury has ruled the main ingredient in a popular weed killer caused cancer in its users. A San Francisco jury Monday awarded more than $2 billion to a couple in their 70s who say glyphosate in Roundup weed killer gave them non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The couple say they used Roundup for 35 years. Attorneys for the couple say numerous scientific studies show glyphosate led to cancer in both animal and human populations.

The World Health Organization has classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” and last month, Vietnam said it would stop importing Roundup and other weed killers with the ingredient.

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The World Health Organization has classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Pixabay

Bayer, Roundup’s manufacturer, argued that hundreds of other scientific tests show glyphosate is safe and that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that when used as directed, glyphosate is not dangerous.

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Bayer says it is disappointed by Monday’s verdict and plans to appeal. Two other juries in March and last August awarded multimillion-dollar settlements to Roundup victims, and thousands of other cases are pending against the company.

The Wall Street Journal reports the price of shares in Bayer has dropped 30% since its first courtroom defeat in August. The newspaper also says shareholders are angered the German-based company bought Monsanto last year when it sells a product suspected of causing cancer. (VOA)