71% of cancer deaths in the United States are caused by cancers without recommended screenings. Multicancer Early Detection (MCED) tests are a promising new technology that uses blood samples to screen for multiple cancer types. When added to existing standards of care, MCED tests could potentially increase the number of cancers found early, including cancers that are not commonly screened for today.

The Multicancer Early Detection Consortium released a new paper, written by their Care Delivery Workgroup, outlining recommendations and important considerations for providers on the use of MCED tests. The paper aims to inform providers on how these emerging technologies work and complement existing cancer screening practices. It is a crucial first step in successfully integrating MCED tests across the cancer care continuum.

“Our goal is to offer primary care providers valuable insight on the current development of emerging MCED tests as well as strategies for discussing these innovative technologies with their patients,” says Richard Wender, MD, Care Delivery Workgroup Chair and professor of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

This new resource outlines the benefits and risks of MCED tests, including the potential for false positives and false negatives, and the data surrounding them. This allows providers the opportunity to have informed, educated discussions with their patients and maps out important considerations when deciding to use an MCED test in a patient’s care.

MCED Consortium Chair, Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD, a Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago, comments, “Communication between patients and their providers leads to more effective cancer care. As MCED tests are developed, evaluated, and ultimately made available for use in patient care, patients will likely have questions about these new technologies. A key focus for the Consortium is educating providers on the status of these technologies and preparing them to have thoughtful and informed decision-making conversations with their patients about their cancer screening options.”

The paper is accompanied by supplemental quick guides for providers who are considering the use of MCED tests. Look for additional guidance focused on MCED Diagnostic Confirmation later this year.