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Mercy participating in cancer study with Mayo Clinic, others

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Mercy signed on to participate in a joint cancer study with more than 70 health care organizations, including the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic.

Through the partnership, patients at Mercy’s hospitals in Springfield, Joplin and Fort Smith, Arkansas, have the option to submit blood samples to be analyzed by Menlo, Park, California-based cancer detection firm Grail Inc., according to a news release.

The health care organizations seek to collect blood samples from 7,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients and 3,000 without cancer across the country.

Grail CEO Jeff Huber said in the release the company’s research efforts produce more than a terabyte of data per patient. The data will then be used by researchers with the aim of detecting patterns before tumors advance.

“This represents the future of cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Mohan Tummala, a Mercy oncologist and hematologist in Springfield, in the release. “Treatments that we are currently using are the result of research we worked on 10 years ago.

“This has the potential for immeasurable benefit, and we hope to see huge leaps in cancer research in the next five to 10 years.”


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