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February 21, 2024

Cancer Screening Research Network

Researchers at Fred Hutch are leading a new federal clinical trials consortium to evaluate emerging technologies for cancer screening.
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Faculty Research

The Cancer Screening Research Network (CSRN) will assess the effectiveness of tests that look for evidence of early-stage cancer in blood or other bodily fluids. The network was created by the National Cancer Institute to advance President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot by improving early detection of cancers.

Biden announced the formation of the Cancer Moonshot, intended to jumpstart progress in research, treating and curing cancer, in 2016 when he was vice president. Six years later, as president, he recommitted to the initiative.

The CSRN will play a primary role in moving the Moonshot closer to its goals, which include slashing the age-adjusted death rate from cancer by at least half. The primary focus will be on diagnosing cancer sooner and reducing health inequities — and preventing cancer in the first place — by evaluating new and complex technologies that screen for cancer. 

Screening for cancer is a key part of prevention because when more cancers are detected before people develop symptoms, it is expected that treatment — perhaps less aggressive treatment — can lead to better outcomes.

Fred Hutch will lead the CSRN’s Coordinating and Communication Center (CCC) and the Statistics and Data Management Center (SDMC) that will oversee cancer screening clinical trials enrolling diverse participants.

The CCC will be co-led by Dr. Scott Ramsey, professor (General Internal Medicine), and Department of Medicine co-investigators include Dr. Rachel Issaka, associate professor (Gastroenterology) and Dr. Matthew Triplette, associate professor (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine).