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DETECT research study

Can cancer be detected through a simple blood test? Geisinger needs women ages 65-75 to help us answer this question.

What is DETECT?

Detecting Cancers Earlier Through Elective Mutation-Based Blood Collection and Testing (DETECT) is a research study that is trying to understand how well a blood test works for finding cancer. DETECT will use a research marker panel blood test to look for tumor DNA by checking for 16 genes and look for abnormally high levels of 11 protein markers.

Who is eligible to participate?

  • Women between the ages of 65-75 years old
  • No personal history of cancer
  • If you had one of the following cancers, you may still be eligible:
    • non-melanoma skin cancer
    • squamous cell
    • carcinoma in-situ

Will I benefit from participating in this study?

There may be no direct benefit to your being in this study. We do not yet know whether the test will help find cancer early. We hope that what is learned from this study will help others in the future.

How many people are you recruiting for DETECT?

  • Enrollment target: 10,000 patients enrolled by March 2019
  • Current enrollment: 10,000 (updated May 2019)

Submit your information for updates about related studies in the near future!

Where is this study taking place?

  • Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, Professional Building (Bloomsburg, PA)
  • Geisinger Medical Center (Danville, PA)
  • Geisinger Precision Health Clinic (Forty-Fort, PA)
  • Geisinger Grays Woods (Port Matilda, PA)
  • Geisinger Mount Pocono (Mount Pocono, PA)
  • Geisinger Lewistown
  • Geisinger Tunkhannock
  • Miller Center (Lewisburg, PA)
  • Geisinger Hazleton
  • Tiadaghton Health Center (Lock Haven, PA)
  • Geisinger South Williamsport
  • Geisinger Pottsville
  • Geisinger South Wilkes Barre
  • Geisinger Shamokin Hospital 
  • Scranton, PA
  • Geisinger Holy Spirit - (Mechanicsburg)
  • Geisinger Holy Spirit – Colonial Park (Harrisburg)
  • Geisinger Holy Spirit – (Duncannon)

More sites are added regularly, please check back to see the list as it updates.

What are you looking at in my blood?

DETECT is looking at circulating tumor DNA and protein markers. Normal cells in your body shed DNA into your bloodstream when they die. Sometimes, cancer cells shed DNA into the bloodstream, too. This is called circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). We are looking at about 15 genes that may be found in the blood when cancer cells shed DNA. Some cancers might also cause levels of certain proteins in the blood to rise above normal. We are measuring about 10 protein markers that are in your blood. 

Why do some people have to come back for another blood test?

People are called back for another blood test because:

  1. Their first test was negative, and the lab selected them as part of the “control group”;
  2. Their first test was positive;

About 7-10% of DETECT participants will be called back for a second blood test. Those who are called back will not learn which group they are in (i.e., control group vs. positive group) until the second result is returned, 4-8 weeks after their second blood draw. 

If you are here for a 3rd blood draw, that means you were part of the control group (first result was negative) but your second was positive. The study is collecting a 3rd blood sample to determine your overall result. 

If your overall result is positive (i.e., 2 positive tests in a row), we will recommend a PET-CT scan paid for by the study. 

Will anyone tell me what my result is?

If your overall result was negative a study team member will call you 4-8 weeks after your second draw to inform you of your results. People with a negative test will not have additional visits for the study, but will be asked to complete the follow-up surveys at years 1 and 5. 

If your overall result was positive a Genetic Counselor will call you 4-8 weeks after your second draw to inform you of your results and recommend a PET-CT as part of the next steps of the study. 

What will happen if I need to have a PET-CT Scan?

A Genetic Counselor will offer you the next available dates/locations and then someone from the Radiology department will be in contact to provide you with instructions about the scan. 

If you have any questions about the study prior to or after your scan you can call 570-387-2153 to speak with a Project Manager or 814-231-6258 to speak with a Genetic Counselor. 

Where can I have a PET-CT Scan done if I need one?

PET-CT scans for DETECT can be done at Geisinger Danville, Geisinger Wyoming Valley, Geisinger Lewistown Hospital and Geisinger Grays Woods.

How long does it take for the results from the PET-CT Scan to come back?

You may receive an Act 112 letter in the mail from Geisinger advising you to contact your provider for results and implying that you can access your MyGeisinger portal account to review your results. 

Since this is a research study, your results will not be viewable in MyGeisinger. If you would like a copy of your full report, you may sign the Patient Access Request form and mail it to Geisinger Release of Medical Information Office as instructed in that form. This form will be enclosed with your Act 112 letter. 

Also, Geisinger and Johns Hopkins physicians will both review your PET-CT scan results. With the dual review it could take several weeks for your results to be returned. 
If your results take longer than 2 weeks, please call 570-387-2153 to speak with a Project Manager who can work with the physician on returning your results. 

What are the costs?

The study will pay for the following:

  • Blood draws for the study (i.e., research cancer marker test)
  • Blood draws prior to the PET-CT scan 
  • PET-CT scan 
  • Phone calls or in-person visit with the Genetic Counselors 
  • 1 in-person visit following the PET-CT scan with a cancer specialist to discuss your results 

You or your insurance will be responsible for the following:

  • Additional bloodwork, procedures, biopsies and treatment following the PET-CT scan 
  • Injury related to bloodwork or PET-CT scans 

If I have more questions, who do I contact?

For more information about the study or if you'd like to participate, call the DETECT study team at 570-387-2154.

How does the study work?

detect initial visit
survey only group
extra blood work group
positive final result
negative final result