Early Detection
(MCED) Testing

Knowing is everything.

Envision a world where more cancers are detected earlier.

Multi-cancer early detection tests are a fundamentally new approach to how we may be able to screen for and detect cancers.1

With a single blood draw, an MCED test enables the screening of many types of cancer at once, including those without United States Preventive Services Taskforce (USPSTF)–recommended screening methods, and may aid in the detection of cancers at early stages. When used alongside single-organ standard-of-care cancer screenings, such as mammograms and colon cancer screenings, MCED tests may offer the potential to transform early cancer detection.1-3


MCED testing: Closing the gap in cancer screening

Play the video to learn more about how MCED testing may shift the paradigm to improve the way we screen for cancer.

Exact Sciences is developing an MCED test designed to be used alongside standard-of-care screening, with the goal to help close gaps in cancer screening. Our product development goals include:

Designing a multi-biomarker class (mutations, methylation, proteins, and aneuploidy) and machine-learning approach to help enable earlier cancer detection

Detecting cancers in multiple organs, including those with no recommended screening options

Delivering high early-stage sensitivity (Stage I and II), enabling the possibility to detect cancer early, when it is more treatable

Providing high specificity in detecting cancer, helping to minimize false positive results

Developing an efficient path to diagnostic resolution for patients and providers

Exact Sciences brings decades of expertise to the MCED testing revolution starting with CancerSEEK.


Exact Sciences brings dedication and expertise to MCED test development founded on decades of research in collaboration with leading academic centers. We are applying the same dedication to the scientific rigor required to launch our industry-leading screening and treatment guidance products—Cologuard® and Oncotype DX®—to develop an MCED test based on CancerSEEK technology.


The CancerSEEK test was used in the DETECT-A study; the first-ever large, prospective, interventional study of an MCED test, and the results of this landmark study were published in 2020. This provided the framework for ongoing test development for a next-generation MCED test that is being designed to be a simple and minimally invasive blood collection, enabling an easy way to screen for many cancer types and aimed at bringing early detection of a greater range of cancers to more patients than ever before.3-5


Our test in development uses a multi-biomarker class approach designed to leverage advances in cancer biology. These biomarkers are specifically selected for their ability to detect cancers.3-7


Recent data presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2022 Congress showed that our test in development improved early-stage sensitivity while maintaining specificity after increasing from a three- to a  four-biomarker class approach.3-4


“These data demonstrate in a large, well-designed case-control study that combining different cancer biomarker classes improves cancer detection, especially in stages I and II, when treatment may be more effective for patients.”


- Tomasz Beer, MD, FACP, Chief Medical Officer for Multi-Cancer Early Detection, Exact Sciences



Cancer screening: What more can we do?


Despite meaningful advances in screening, a significant proportion of cancer types are often detected at later stages, when signs and symptoms appear and when treatments may be less effective.1,8



Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States.9


1.9 million

new cancer cases are expected

to occur in 20239



cancer-related deaths

anticipated annually9



Current cancer screening options may be suboptimal.

Guidelines recommend routine screening
for only four cancer types:
cervical, colorectal, and lung (high risk)10

A significant proportion of cancers are being detected in late stage, when options are more limited1

Two-thirds of incident cancers have no
recommended screening options
Many individuals lack access
to cancer screening

Early-stage cancer detection is associated with higher rates of survival

5-year survival rate of cancers based on stage at diagnosis9,*

*Calculation derived from American Cancer Society statistics on average 5-years relative survival rates for 19 leading cancers. Local: malignant confined entirely to the organ of origin. Distant: a malignant cancer that has spread to parts of the body remote from the primary tumor either by direct extension or by discontinuous metastasis to distant organs, tissues, or via the lymphatic system to distant lymph nodes.

Explore the comprehensive scientific expertise that Exact Sciences is applying to MCED test development

Learn more about MCED testing

Recent Developments

Exact Sciences' MCED test presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2022 shows that combining multiple biomarker classes in a single panel can improve early-stage sensitivity while maintaining strong specificity.4


Resources on Multi-Cancer Early Detection Testing

Exact Sciences’ MCED test is under development. The features above describe current development goals. It has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or any other national regulatory authority.


Calculated using estimated new diagnoses and deaths from cancers that have standard of care screening: breast, cervical, colorectal and lung (high risk) against all sites



  1. Ahlquist DA. NPJ Precis Oncol. 2018;2:23.
  2. Beer TM. Am J Manag Care. 2021;27(19 Suppl):S347-S355.
  3. Lennon AM, Buchanan AH, Kinde I, et al. Feasibility of blood testing combined with PET-CT to screen for cancer and guide intervention. Science. 2020;369(6499).
  4. Douville C, et al. Poster presented at: ESMO Congress; September 9-13, 2022; Paris, France. Abstract 73P
  5. Cohen JD, et al. Science. 2018;359(6378):926-930.
  6. Muthukrishnan M, et al. Prev Med Rep. 2019;15:100896.
  7. Alexandraki I, Mooradian AD. J Natl Med Assoc. 2010;102:206-218.
  8. Siegel RL, et al. CA Cancer J Clin. 2023;72:7-33.
  9. American Cancer Society. Cancer facts and figures 2022. Accessed October 11, 2022.
  10. United States Preventive Services Task Force. A and B recommendations. Published 2022. Accessed November 17, 2022.
  11. Sabatino SA, et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2021;70:29-35.