The pathfinder study: Assessment of the implementation of an investigational multi-cancer early detection test into clinical practice

Lincoln D. Nadauld, Charles H. McDonnell, Tomasz M. Beer, Minetta C. Liu, Eric A. Klein, Andrew Hudnut, Richard A. Whittington, Bruce Taylor, Geoffrey R. Oxnard, Jafi Lipson, Margarita Lopatin, Rita Shaknovich, Karen C. Chung, Eric T. Fung, Deborah Schrag, Catherine R. Marinac

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    To examine the extent of the evaluation required to achieve diagnostic resolution and the test performance characteristics of a targeted methylation cell-free DNA (cfDNA)-based multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test, ~6200 participants ≥50 years with (cohort A) or without (cohort B) ≥1 of 3 additional specific cancer risk factors will be enrolled in PATHFINDER (NCT04241796), a prospective, longitudinal, interventional, multi-center study. Plasma cfDNA from blood samples will be analyzed to detect abnormally methylated DNA associated with cancer (i.e., cancer “signal”) and a cancer signal origin (i.e., tissue of origin). Participants with a “signal detected” will undergo further diagnostic evaluation per guiding physician discretion; those with a “signal not detected” will be advised to continue guideline-recommended screening. The primary objective will be to assess the number and types of subsequent diagnostic tests needed for diagnostic resolution. Based on microsimulations (using estimates of cancer incidence and dwell times) of the typical risk profiles of anticipated participants, the median (95% CI) number of participants with a “signal detected” result is expected to be 106 (87–128). Subsequent diagnostic evaluation is expected to detect 52 (39–67) cancers. The positive predictive value of the MCED test is expected to be 49% (39–58%). PATHFINDER will evaluate the integration of a cfDNA-based MCED test into existing clinical cancer diagnostic pathways. The study design of PATHFINDER is described here.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number3501
    JournalCancers
    Volume13
    Issue number14
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 2 2021

    Keywords

    • Cancer
    • Diagnostic pathways
    • Methylation cell-free DNA
    • Multi-cancer early detection test

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research

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