The advent of multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests has the potential to revolutionise the diagnosis of cancer, improving patient outcomes through early diagnosis and increased use of curative therapies. The ongoing NHS-Galleri trial is evaluating an MCED test developed by GRAIL, and is using as its primary endpoint the absolute incidence of late-stage cancer. Proponents of this outcome argue that if the test reduces the number of patients with advanced, incurable cancer, it can be reasonably assumed to be benefitting patients by reducing cancer mortality. Here, we argue that this assumption may not always hold due to the phenomenon of micro-metastatic disease, and propose an adjustment to the trial outcome so that it may better reflect the expected effect of the test on cancer mortality.
- Early Detection of Cancer
- Neoplasms, Second Primary