The Consortium was created to improve cancer screening, early detection of aggressive cancer, assessment of cancer risk and cancer diagnosis aimed at integrating multi-modality imaging strategies and multiplexed biomarker methodologies into a singular complementary approach. Investigator perform collaborative studies, exchange information, share knowledge and leverage common resources. The research will be conducted by individual multi-disciplinary research teams, called Units.
Overdiagnosis and false positives present significant clinical problems in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer. Therefore, there is an unmet clinical need to more accurately identify early-stage aggressive cancers and distinguish lesions that are life threatening from those that are not. The Consortion for imaging and Biomarkers Research Units develop, optimize, and clinically validate novel methods to:
- Detect aggressive cancers at the earliest stages possible;
- Reduce overdiagnosis;
- Reduce false positive tests; and
- Identify lethal cancers from non-lethal disease.
Clinical Needs: While early stage cancers that were previously undetectable can now be found by screening, many lesions identified by imaging or biomarkers are not cancer and many of the detected cancers are not life threatening. Simply stated, although it is possible to detect early stage cancers with greater frequency, one does not always know which lesions are cancer and cannot always distinguish cancers that are life threatening from those that are not.
Overdiagnosis is the term used when the diagnosis of a disease is correctly made, but the disease does not give rise to symptoms during the patient's lifetime or have lethal potential for the patient. False positive is the term used when the test for disease in a patient is "positive" when the disease is not present. Our inability to differentiate lethal from indolent cancer (frequently over diagnosed), particularly at an early stage, and to differentiate benign disease from cancer (false positives) is a significant clinical problem.
The goal of the Consortium for imaging and Biomarkers is to develop improved methods for the early detection of aggressive cancer by managing overdiagnosis, reducing false positives and identifying lethal cancers from non-lethal disease using strategies aimed at effective integration and validation of imaging and biomarkers. A biomarker is conceptually defined as a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biologic processes, pathogenic processes or a biological response that could be used for early cancer detection.