Bits 'n' Pieces

Detecting Up to 50 Cancers Early

The MemorialCare Research Program is one of just two sites in Southern California offering the PATHFINDERS 2 Study – designed to evaluate the performance of a multi-cancer early detection test, called Galleri, that detects up to 50 types of cancer through a single blood draw. Because cancer cells present themselves differently from healthy cells, the Galleri test looks for signals present in the blood that may be associated with cancer at the time of a patient’s blood draw.

If eligible, participants will come in for their blood test. If the test results come back positive for cancer, the participant will be sent for a diagnostic workup to confirm the diagnosis. For example, if a marker shows a participant is positive for colon cancer, MemorialCare will work with participants and get them the care and tests they need, such as a colonoscopy, to confirm they have colon cancer and the treatments they might need.

There will be no charge to the patients or their insurance for the diagnostic workup, but standard of care treatment for cancer will be billed to the participant’s insurance as usual. All participants will be followed by the study for three years.

More data is needed before it can become part of standard cancer screenings. So far, the Galleri test has shown to be better at detecting certain cancers. For example, the test has higher success at detecting the presence or likelihood of cancer in the liver, pancreas and ovaries.

The Galleri test is being studied and is not approved or cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is not meant to replace the cancer screening tests your healthcare provider may recommend, such as colonoscopy or mammography.

The PATHFINDER 2 Study is open to men and women 50 years or older, meet eligibility criteria and receive care at participating health systems. Participants in previous or ongoing GRAIL sponsored studies are not eligible to participate in the PATHFINDER 2 Study.

For more information about this clinical trial, visit

Two Local Nonprofits Awarded $193,000

Dignity Health – St. Mary Medical Center recently awarded $193,000 in community grants to two nonprofits in the Greater Long Beach area that work to provide the community with critical health and human services.

Grants are awarded through Dignity Health’s Community Health Improvement Grants program, which sets forth to help non-profit organizations whose efforts aid in building healthier communities by improving health and living conditions.

“Partnering with local nonprofits who share our vision and mission of improving the health of the people we serve, especially those who are vulnerable, is essential to the well-being of our community. Not to mention, it’s one of our favorite things to do,” shared Carolyn Caldwell, St. Mary Hospital President. “Collectively, our efforts will have a significant impact in the lives of the most underserved populations in Long Beach.”

Organizations selected to receive 2023 Dignity Health Community Grants include:

Century Villages at Cabrillo (CVC) | Awarded $97,000 – The Century Villages at Cabrillo’s mission is to finance, build and operate exceptional affordable housing, so that the people it serves may have a dignified home, a healthy and hopeful future and the ability to attain economic independence. It creates the physical and social conditions where collaborating programs can succeed in overcoming homelessness. CVC plans to utilize its grant to fund mental health resources, community engagement opportunities, peer-to-peer support groups and more.

United Cambodian Community | Awarded $96,000 – The United Cambodian Community (UCC) of Long Beach provides culturally competent social services to the Cambodian community in Long Beach, home of Cambodia Town, the largest population of Cambodians in the nation. It seeks to elevate the Cambodian community through local engagement and leadership that embodies Cambodian cultural values. St. Mary has provided a grant to support the continuation and expansion of its strategic program areas, which include health equity and community integration.

Dignity Health’s Community Health Improvement Grants program has awarded $91 million to nearly 3,800 health improvement projects since 1991. For more information, please visit

VA Resource Center Has Grand Opening

VA Long Beach Healthcare System celebrated the Grand Opening of the Veteran Resource Center on March 7, at building 165 at the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center.

Services offered in this one-stop-shop:

  • Patient Advocate Office
  • Bene-Travel
  • Social Work Services
  • Veteran Benefits Administration: Veteran Readiness and Employment (Chapter 31)
  • Veteran Service Organizations
  • Release of Information/Medical Records
  • Virtual Health Resource Center
  • Whole Health Services

VA Long Beach Healthcare System will be one of the few VAs with a Veteran Resource Center on-site. The new space creates and sustains the necessary working relationships with veteran-centered community partners and veteran service officers who help to provide successful future care for veterans.

For more information, contact Alyssa Rivas at or (562) 276-5873.

Help Bull Kelp

The Aquarium of the Pacific is embarking on a new scientific project to help bull kelp, which has been in decline mainly due to warming waters associated with climate change and disruptions to the ocean food web. In Northern California, bull kelp has declined by 95 percent since 2008.

Kelp forests provide critically vital habitats for marine animals. Humans around the world also benefit from healthy kelp forests because they are an important source of oxygen and provide coastlines with physical protection from waves. The project is focused on preserving genetic diversity of bull kelp to help facilitate future kelp forest restoration projects. Aquarium animal husbandry staff are carefully preserving 1,400 gametophytes or genetic material of bull kelp. These gametophytes will be stored in stasis at the Aquarium of the Pacific and can be used to grow kelp for outplanting it in the ocean to help restore kelp forest ecosystems.

The preservation technique is similar to what seed banks accomplish for plants. The biggest difference is that kelp use spores to disperse; these will settle and germinate into male and female microscopic gametophytes that will reproduce. By putting the gametophytes into stasis, the cell growth is hugely decreased keeping the bull kelp in microstages. “In the event that wild kelp populations suffer catastrophic loss of genetic diversity, these gametophytes could be used to produce new kelp to restore local ecosystems. They can also be selectively bred to develop kelp that is more resistant to warmer temperatures,” says Jenn Anstey, Aquarium of the Pacific assistant curator. This kelp conservation project is a partnership of the Aquarium of the Pacific, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and California Sea Grant.

The western North American coastline is one of the areas where kelp grows. The rise of sea temperatures, the over-predation of kelp from purple sea urchins and the loss of urchin eating sunflower sea stars have caused a major decline in kelp forests in the northern Pacific Ocean.


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