Madison company to develop lung cancer screening

What you need to know: Thursday

Exact Sciences is partnering with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop and commercialize blood-based screening and diagnostic tests for the early detection of lung cancer.

The Madison company developed a non-invasive colon cancer screening test and hopes to join the research with what MD Anderson has done on predictive biomarkers for lung cancer. The new lung cancer blood test would targets biomarkers associated with lung cancer when it is most treatable.

The test could be used to screen nearly 11 million Americans considered high risk smokers and former smokers, and it would be valuable to nearly 4 million Americans diagnosed with lung nodules each year, according to a news release.

“Our common vision is to help win the war on cancer through early detection. Taking on lung cancer offers an opportunity to build on the success of Cologuard,” said Exact Sciences’ Chairman and CEO Kevin Conroy. “A simple blood test to complement CT could significantly improve early-stage lung cancer detection.”

The initiative is part of MD Anderson’s Moon Shots Program, which is described as, “a goal-oriented, multidisciplinary effort harnessing available knowledge and new disruptive technologies to dramatically reduce cancer mortality through prevention, early detection and curative treatments.”