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What is DETECT?

Geisinger and Johns Hopkins University are teaming up to try to find out if cancer can be detected early through a simple blood test. In the first study of its kind, 10,000 women will help us determine if a blood test can be used as a cancer screening method in women without known cancer. This test could bring a new cancer screening method into every day health care. 

This research study is open to female Geisinger patients, ages 65-75, with no prior history of cancer

Are there benefits to being in this study?

Being in this study may not help you directly, but it could change the way cancer is found in the future. 

What do we know now?

From the studies that have been done so far, it is known that many patients with cancer have DNA shed from their cancer cells (tumor DNA) into their blood. Some patients with cancer also have much higher levels than normal of certain proteins in their blood. Technology developed by our colleagues at Johns Hopkins University can find small amounts of tumor DNA in blood.

What are we trying to learn?

It is unknown how well a blood test will perform in patients with no known cancer, but researchers are hopeful this research test could change the way cancer is found in the future.

DETECT will use a blood test, referred to as a “research marker panel test”, to look for:

  • tumor DNA by checking 16 genes associated with human cancer
  • abnormally high levels of 11 protein markers 

Women in the study will give a blood sample for the research marker panel test and complete 3 surveys over 5 years. A subset of participants (those with a positive research marker panel test and an equal number with a negative test) will give a second blood sample. Participants with 2 consecutive positive research marker panel results will have a whole-body PET-CT scan to try to find the source of the cancer markers. Participants with an abnormal PET-CT scan will be cared for by Geisinger doctors.

Will participants be paid for their contributions? 

The study will pay for the research marker panel tests and the PET-CT scan, at no cost to participants. Research participants will receive a gift card to compensate for their time/travel for every in-person visit that they attend. 

Want to know more?

Fill out the form to the right, or call the DETECT team: 570-387-2154.