April 22, 2021
Nashville, Tenn., April 22, 2021 – A group of leading public and private cancer-focused organizations today announced a Multi-Cancer Early Detection (MCED) consortium to evaluate new technologies that have the potential to reduce cancer mortality by enabling earlier detection of cancer before it has spread, when treatment is potentially curative.
The consortium will evaluate the clinical and public health value of MCED tests in earlier cancer detection and treatment and establish standards for their use in routine medical care. Over 35 organizations have contributed to the formation of the consortium, including initial founding members Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA); the Cancer Support Community; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Inc.; Friends of Cancer Research; GRAIL, Inc.; Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University; Milken Institute; Sarah Cannon Research Institute; Stand Up To Cancer; and Thrive, an Exact Sciences Company.
MCED is an emerging set of technologies that, when added to existing single cancer screening, provides an opportunity to identify a broad range of cancers earlier in the course of disease. With the use of a simple blood draw, urine, saliva, or stool sample test, MCED technology enables clinicians to rapidly screen for multiple types of cancer at once, potentially catching and treating them earlier.
“Multi-cancer early detection represents a paradigm shift in how cancers will be diagnosed and treated in the future,” said Brian Druker, MD, director of the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, and a founding member of the MCED forum. “By bringing together this group of experts from across the cancer research, clinical, and patient advocacy landscapes, we intend to evaluate evidence and establish standards for the emerging field of MCED that can guide physicians in adopting the technology in clinical practice. Ultimately, we are united in our mission to evaluate how MCED may benefit patients by identifying their cancer at earlier stages, when they can be more effectively treated.”
“We are very excited to help found the MCED consortium,” said Kim Thiboldeaux, executive chair of the Cancer Support Community. “As a global non-profit supporting patients with cancer and their families, an important part of our mission is to ensure that our patient community is supported by knowledge about innovations in the latest cancer research and technology. We look forward to collaborating with others in the cancer research community to identify how MCED can best be applied to help patients.”
“The great promise of MCED is that it will enable clinicians to transition from screening select groups for a few cancers, to screening individuals for many cancers,” said Howard A. “Skip” Burris, III, MD, president of clinical operations and chief medical officer at Sarah Cannon Research Institute. "With the introduction of these innovations, this consortium will be a body to review data and provide guidance on the clinical introduction of MCED into routine medical care. We look forward to working together to establish standards for this important new field and welcoming additional members to our group in the months to come.”
About the Multi-Cancer Early Detection (MCED) Consortium
The Multi-Cancer Early Detection (MCED) consortium will aim to evaluate emerging data and establish standards in the field by defining the clinical and public health value of the technology and providing guidance for its use in a clinical setting. The consortium will launch with a steering committee tasked with further defining the consortium’s structure, laying the groundwork for an inclusive membership, and establishing a long-term institutional structure. The consortium’s initial founding members include Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; the Cancer Support Community; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Inc.; Friends of Cancer Research; GRAIL, Inc.; Knight Cancer Institute, Oregon Health & Science University; Milken Institute; Sarah Cannon Research Institute; Stand Up To Cancer; and Thrive, an Exact Sciences Company.