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College of
Health Sciences

DETECT Research Study

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 uses a research marker panel blood test to look for tumor DNA by checking for 15 genes and looking for abnormally high levels of 10 protein markers. The study enrolled 10,0006 participants in 15 locations: 

  • Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, Professional Building
  • Geisinger Medical Center (Danville, PA)
  • Geisinger Precision Health Clinic (Forty-Fort, PA)
  • Geisinger Grays Woods (Port Matilda, PA)
  • Geisinger Mount Pocono
  • 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

See a map of study locations


What was the study looking for in my blood?

DETECT was 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 were 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 were measuring about 10 protein markers that are in the blood.

Study Updates

In August 2021, we offered some additional testing to the 10,006 DETECT participants. The additional testing included an informed consent, two additional follow-up surveys (in years 3 and 4), and a blood sample. A total of 3,870 participants at 16 locations enrolled. The information learned from this additional testing may be used to improve the cancer screening blood test in the future but did not generate any additional results for participants.

Exact Sciences Corporation is the project sponsor. The original testing lab, Thrive Earlier Detection, merged with and is now part of Exact Sciences.

Study Timeline

Year 4 surveys are being completed between July 2022 and April 2023 for participants who took part in the additional testing.

Year 5 end-of-study surveys are being completed between September 2022 and May 2024, depending on participants’ personal timelines in the study.

For more information about the study, call our DETECT study team at 570-387-2154. You can also call Ashley Honushefsky, DETECT project manager, at 570-387-2153, or Zack Salvati, genetic counselor, at 814-231-6258.

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