Consumer / Employer

Carrum Health, GRAIL strike up partnership to offer cancer test to employers

Through the new collaboration, Carrum Health is offering GRAIL’s cancer test called Galleri as a benefit option for employers. It is an early-detection test for more than 50 types of cancer.

As cancer becomes the leading condition driving up employers’ costs, two companies are teaming up to combat the issue.

The partnership is between digital health company Carrum Health and biotechnology company GRAIL. Carrum is a value-based platform connecting employers and employees to Centers of Excellence. GRAIL, meanwhile, is the developer of Galleri, an early-detection cancer test for more than 50 types of cancer. Through the new collaboration, Carrum is offering Galleri as a benefit option to the self-insured employers the company works with. 

Cancer has overtaken musculoskeletal conditions as the leading condition driving up employers’ healthcare costs, a recent survey by Business Group on Health found.

The Galleri test is taken through a blood sample and looks for signals of cancer in DNA. It determines where the cancer signal is located in the body, which helps find a diagnosis, said Megan Hall, vice president of medical affairs at GRAIL. A clinical study on Galleri determined it is able to find the origin of the cancer signal with 97% accuracy. About half of the cancers detected by the test in the study were Stage I or II cancers. Additionally, many of the participants with detected cancers, or 71%, had cancer types that don’t have routine screening tests available. However, Hall encouraged using the test alongside existing screenings.

The Galleri test should be used in addition to recommended cancer screenings, such as mammography, colonoscopy, prostate-specific antigen test or cervical cancer screening,” Hall wrote in an email.

If an employee receives a detected cancer signal, they are then directed to Carrum’s platform and connected with a Center of Excellence. The platform includes a specialist that guides patients throughout the care process.

“Hearing a cancer diagnosis is paralyzing, overwhelming, very traumatic,” said Deirdre Saulet, market vice president of oncology at Carrum Health, in an interview. “So at that point, there’s a really nice movement through the Carrum continuum, through our oncology programs where you’ve got the diagnosis, and then we can help support.”

By partnering with GRAIL, Carrum aims to help employees receive cancer diagnoses early on and access treatment quickly. Ultimately, the company hopes to mitigate costs for employers and increase survival rates, Saulet said.

“The thinking of course is that if we can get ahead of this, we can diagnose cancers earlier, and that means those cancers will be less costly,” Saulet said. “And even more importantly, it will lead to a higher likelihood of survival.”

Photo: CGToolbox, Getty Images