Evaluating diagnostic strategies for early detection of cancer: the CanTest framework

Although cancer screening technology has improved over time, few advances have benefitted the precision and timeliness of diagnoses occurring among those who present to primary care with symptoms. Many newly developed technologies also produce high rates of false positives as they are developed in a high prevalence population for use in low prevalence populations. This systematic scoping review sought to evaluate diagnostic test frameworks which currently exist regarding their ability to guide development of early cancer diagnosis tools. It was found that all existing frameworks had significant limitations. In response, the authors have developed the CanTest framework, a five-phase framework covering all stages of test development from development to implementation and effects at a population level. Adoption of the CanTest framework could prove beneficial to a variety of stakeholders across the entire spectrum, from patients and clinicians to policy makers and funders. Importantly, the CanTest framework could also be applied in other research areas which rely on diagnostic testing. The CanTest framework was developed by members of the CanTest Collaborative. The CanTest Collaborative is headed by Dr Fiona Walsh from the University of Cambridge and Prof Willie Hamilton from the University of Exeter but its research partners include nine institutions across the United Kingdom, Denmark, The Netherlands, Australia and the United States. The CanTest Collaborative seeks to improve the triaging and diagnostic process related to testing in primary care through their own research and by supporting affiliated projects. Read full text Visit the CanTest Collaborative website
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