When cancer is detected early, treatments are far more effective. That’s why there’s excitement around the anticipated benefits of a new suite of blood-based technologies known as multi-cancer early detection (MCED). They hold the promise to revolutionize our approach to cancer screening—not just by enabling earlier detection, but also by screening for dozens of deadly cancers simultaneously, most of which do not have any screening alternatives today. MCED approaches deliver highly accurate results, and they can in many cases trace detected cancer signals to the areas of the body where diagnostic workup is needed. This can radically expand the number of cancers for which there are available screening options and broaden cancer detection to the asymptomatic population. But for patients to benefit—and for the United States to remain a leader in this fiercely contested field—policymakers first must get the regulatory and coverage environment right, including ensuring that Medicare supports adoption of and access to these transformative technologies.
ITIF hosted an expert panel discussion exploring the groundbreaking innovations and policy considerations impacting the field of multi-cancer early detection.