Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States despite decades of treatment advances. While death rates have fallen for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers, all of which have population-based screening options, rates remain high for the majority of malignancies, with most diagnosed in the later stages. In addition, adherence to screening recommendations in the United States is low, with high rates of false-positive results. Multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests detect early cancer signals from as many as 50 or more neoplasms using cell-free DNA and other circulating analytes in blood. They may be more accessible and easier to disseminate than organ-specific tests. However, the impact on cancer-related deaths remains unclear. Other unanswered questions include cost-effectiveness, the impact of false-positive results on patients and costs, the overdiagnosis of more indolent cancers, uptake among patients and clinicians, and the need for protocols covering their use. Research and development of blood-based MCED tests continue.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy