Multicancer Early Detection Initiative

Designing and launching a public-private consortium to address the challenges of multicancer early detection.

A new frontier in cancer screening involves leveraging liquid- and scent-based detectionwhich looks for signals of cancer in blood, breath, urine, or stool samplesto create multi- rather than single-cancer screens. For organizations focused on advancing this class of technologies, known as multicancer early detection (MCED), the ambition is to develop tests to screen for early signals of cancer and potentially save more lives.

Industry, primary and specialty care clinicians, patient advocates, payers, and other experts in the healthcare community, with the support of Tapestry Networks, have designed a multistakeholder public-private consortium to address potential challenges related to MCED. Specifically, this initiative will assess the efficacy, value, cost, benefit, and sustainability of these technologies for the health system, as well as defining the evidence needed to support the use of these technologies.

Project Background:

Beginning in mid-2020, Tapestry engaged with a range of stakeholders to understand the key concerns facing the adoption of MCED and identify what approaches could be taken by a public-private multistakeholder consortium to address those challenges. This initial exploration culminated in the December 2020 MCED Forum. Building on this groundwork, a group of steering committee members and advisers initiated a design effort that resulted in a detailed Blueprint, a consensus document that lays out the mission, scope, objectives, and workplans for the MCED Consortium. Tapestry shared the Blueprint with outside reviewers, who joined the steering committee members and advisers in July 2021 to discuss the document, identify additional risks to the consortium, and define criteria for the consortium’s success. All agreed on the timeliness and need for the consortium, and supported its focus on evaluating clinical utility, establishing diagnosis and care pathways, addressing health equity, and ensuring appropriate communications regarding MCED technologies.

Using the blueprint as the foundation, the consortium is in the process of being formally established as a not-for-profit organization and designating executive committee leadership and working group chairs. It has engaged a third-party organization to provide dedicated staff to support the consortium’s operations and workplans, member relations, and external stakeholder engagement. Tapestry Networks will remain an advisor in the transition process.