Why is it important to detect cancer early?

Cancer often goes undetected until it has progressed to an advanced stage, when treatment options may be limited. As we age, the risk for cancer increases. Taking steps to find cancer earlier can increase the chances of better outcomes.

Early Detection

What is the PATHFINDER 2 Study testing?

The PATHFINDER 2 Study is not a treatment study. The purpose of this study is to understand the performance and safety of a blood test for early detection of a signal shared by multiple cancers. This test is being studied and is not approved or cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is not meant to replace other cancer screening tests your healthcare provider may recommend, such as colonoscopy or mammography. This test is currently available for sale in the US.

Researchers also want to learn more about:

  • How healthcare providers will use the study test results to make decisions.
  • What study participants think about the study test and its benefits and drawbacks.

How does the study test work?

The study test looks for small pieces of genetic material in the blood called DNA that may indicate the presence of cancer.

  • All the cells in your body release pieces of DNA into the blood. DNA from cancer cells and healthy cells is different. The study test looks for a common signal based on these differences that may indicate the presence of cancer.
  • If a cancer signal is detected, the study test provides information to predict where the cancer may be located.

Who is the study for?

Anyone 50 years of age or older may qualify for the study. If you’re interested in joining, the study team will ask you questions about your health and medical history to see whether the study is right for you.

What happens during the study?

The study lasts about 3 years, with one blood test and about 2 study visits for most participants. You will also be asked to complete questionnaires at different times during the study. If your test result shows that a cancer signal is detected, you will have additional visits for tests to determine whether or not you have cancer.

Enrollment (signup)

If you decide to participate in the study, you will be asked to read and sign the Informed Consent Form before any study procedures can begin. Take all the time you need and ask any questions you have. You will then answer some questions about your health and medical history.

Blood test and results

Up to 30 days

You will have a blood sample taken and tested using the multi-cancer early detection study test. Within 30 days, a member of the study team will then discuss the test results and next steps with you. This visit may take place in person, by phone, or by virtual visit.

Follow-up on your health

Up to 3 years

For the next 3 years, the study team will check on your health and review your medical records to find out if you have had any cancer screening tests and if you have been diagnosed with cancer. A member of the study team may also contact you by phone, mail, text message, or email to ask you questions about your health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the possible study test results?

The study test looks at DNA in the blood to search for a signal that may indicate the presence of cancer. This common signal is shared by many different types of cancer.

"No Cancer Signal Detected":

  • No DNA associated with cancer was found by the study test at that time.
  • This does not guarantee that you do not have cancer.
  • Continue to follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for cancer screening tests.

"Cancer Signal Detected":

  • DNA that may be associated with cancer was found by the study test and there is a suspicion of cancer.
  • Your healthcare provider will direct you to the next appropriate test or evaluation to confirm whether or not cancer is present.
  • This test result is not a diagnosis of cancer. Only additional tests can provide a confirmed diagnosis of cancer.

This study does not replace any cancer screening tests that your healthcare provider recommends. You should continue to have all other recommended cancer screening tests.

Where do I go for more information?

If you are interested in learning more, click to find a research site near you:

Find a Study Site

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