Detecting Cancer Early 2017-05-31T07:24:21+00:00
1 in 4

One in four of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime.

Detecting cancer early
is life changing

At Cirina we are pioneering products
that detect cancer at its earliest stages
and empower you to take action.

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Our Story

DNA helix

Our science is driven by the passion and life long work of Cirina co-founder Dennis Lo, DM, DPhil. In 1997, Dr. Lo was the first scientist to discover the presence of fetal DNA in a pregnant mother’s blood (plasma). Since his first discovery, Dennis Lo and his colleagues, Rossa Chiu and Allen Chan have been continuously at the forefront of the field. Their pioneering work has made non-invasive blood-based prenatal testing possible. Today, non-invasive prenatal tests empower millions to make informed decisions for their families.

Cancer ribbon

In the two decades since 1997, Dennis Lo’s pioneering work has enabled simple blood-based alternatives to challenging biopsy-based diagnostic tests for conditions like pregnancy, transplantation, cancer and organ damage. In 2014, Dr. Lo and Decheng Capital co-founded Cirina to develop products to detect cancer at the earliest stages.  Later, they recruited Maneesh Jain as CEO to execute on this mission.

Merger with GRAIL
In May 2017, GRAIL and Cirina announced they have entered a definitive agreement to merge.  GRAIL is a life sciences company based in Menlo Park, Calif., whose mission is to detect cancer early when it can be cured. For more information read the press release.

Our Science

Dr. Lo’s scientific publications and clinical studies have shown that selected cancers may be detected at the earliest stages by testing for tumor DNA in apparently healthy individuals (Cancer, 2013 May 15;119(10):1838-44). These discoveries have profound implications for curing cancer by treating the disease at its most vulnerable stage.

Cancer Journal Cover

Early detection of nasopharyngeal carcinoma by plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA analysis in a surveillance program.

PNAS Journal Cover

Plasma DNA tissue mapping by genome-wide methylation sequencing for noninvasive prenatal, cancer, and transplantation assessments.

Clinical Chemistry Journal Cover

Cancer Genome Scanning in Plasma: Detection of Tumor-Associated Copy Number Aberrations, Single-Nucleotide Variants, and Tumoral Heterogeneity by Massively Parallel Sequencing

PNAS Journal Cover

Lengthening and shortening of plasma DNA in hepatocellular carcinoma patients.

Cancer Research Journal Cover

Quantitative Analysis of Cell-free Epstein-Barr Virus DNA in Plasma of Patients with Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma.

Dr. Lo was named a 2016 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate, in recognition of the high citations of his research work, ranking him in the top 0.1% of his field worldwide. He also received the 2016 Future Science Prize in life science for his seminal contributions to the field of non-invasive blood-based diagnoses. The Future Science Prize is widely recognized as a Chinese version of the Nobel Prize.