A blood-based multicancer early detection (MCED) test using cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is feasible for outpatients and has a positive predictive value of about 40%, according to a study presented at the 2022 annual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology. Deb Schrag, MD, MPH, and colleagues examined the clinical feasibility of MCED testing in a screening population of participants aged 50 and older with or without additional cancer risk factors. cfDNA was analyzed from blood samples and MCED test results were returned (MCED-E, early version). For all participants, cancer status was confirmed at 1 year. MCED-E detected a cancer signal in 1.4% of 6,621 participants with analyzable samples. Cancer was confirmed in 38% of cases, with specificity of 99.1%. Overall, 73% of true positives had diagnostic resolution in less than 3 months. A refined test version (MECD-Scr) had similar performance to the MCED-E. Four adverse events (0.06%) occurred, none of which were due to confirmatory diagnostic procedures.
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