Multiple companies are in the process of launching universal cancer screening (UCS) technologies. And while the ability to identify tumors earlier will be revolutionary, especially for for patients with less common cancers, there are still a lot of questions around how to read the reports and apply the results. So, what do pathologists and laboratory professionals need to know about these multicancer screenings and how such tests might affect our daily practice in the immediate future?
On this episode of Inside the Lab, our hosts Dr. Dan Milner and Dr. Lotte Mulder are joined by Dr. Alarice Cheng-Yi Lowe, MD, FASCP, Cytopathologist, Surgical Pathologist, and Director of the Circulating Tumor Cell Lab at Stanford University, Dr. Jeff Gagan, MD, PhD, Molecular Genetic Pathologist, Assistant Professor of Pathology, and Medical Director of the Clinical Next Generation Sequencing Lab at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and Dr. Maria Arcila, MD, Molecular Genetic Pathologist, Hematopathologist, and Director of the Diagnostic Molecular Pathology Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, to discuss universal cancer screening.
Our panelists explain why UCS isn’t a part of our current toolbox and what data we need before it can be integrated into standard cancer care. They weigh in on why it’s so difficult to confirm a positive UCS result and walk us through the challenges associated with interpreting multicancer screening reports. Listen in for insight on why pathologists need to be aware of USC technology, its capabilities, and limitations and why it's likely to shift the role laboratory professionals play on the clinical team moving forward.
· The rapidly evolving technology that allows us to evaluate a patient for many cancers in a single assay
· Why USC isn’t part of the current toolbox now and the data needed to integrate it into standard cancer care
· Challenges to confirm a positive UCS result and how such screenings might force patients into a stressful watch and wait process
· Challenges associated with interpreting multicancer early detection reports and why getting comfortable with understanding molecular data is critical
· Concerns around direct-to-consumer testing
· How the rise of UCS is likely to shift the role laboratory pros play on the clinical team