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SAN DIEGO — Bay Area biotech Guardant Health is closer than ever to its ultimate goal — developing and deploying a simple, blood-based test that you could get during an annual doctor’s visit to spot cancer early enough that it might be treated more successfully. And 2022 is shaping up to be a big year for the company’s ambitions.

Since its founding in 2012, Guardant has grown into a $7 billion company with more than 1,400 employees and multiple tests for both early- and late-stage cancer. These so-called liquid biopsy tests take floating bits of DNA from a blood sample and scan them for mutations and chemical modifications that are telltale signs of cancer. The company’s products are already helping doctors figure out if colon cancer patients still have any tumor left after treatment, whether a cancer has returned, and what treatments make most sense for those with advanced disease.

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