07 Dec Exact Sciences developing support framework for blood-based cancer screening test
Through a partnership with Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health, Exact Sciences is creating a support framework for a blood-based cancer screening test in development.
“We’re trying to really understand behaviors, attitudes, and potentially fears about this kind of new test and technology before we actually launch it in the marketplace,” said David Harding, senior vice president of Thrive, a subsidiary of the Madison-based diagnostics company.
In a recent interview, he explained that rolling out a new test like this can cause “a lot of confusion” for both doctors and their patients. By simulating aspects of the testing and follow-up process with patients at the health system, the partnership aims to determine what kinds of educational materials, navigational aids and other support should be offered to supplement the test.
Patients that participate in the simulation will provide feedback through surveys, which Harding says will be used to understand how people are thinking and feeling about the process. He said this process aims to tap “a broad swathe of the population” served by Jefferson Health in parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, particularly individuals from underserved communities.
“We believe fundamentally that having a blood-based multi-cancer early detection test is going to be a great way to close some of the access gaps that we see in underserved populations,” Harding said. “We recognize that there are different patients with different experiences, and we want to make sure that we’re covering all the different segments of the population.”
The MCED test is still in the development phase. Harding says that process will be finalized “in the early part of 2022,” with an FDA study planned for the second half of next year. That study will run for several years, and Jefferson Health will be participating as a trial location, building on the existing partnership.