Investigational Blood Test Could Detect Many Types of Cancer with One blood Draw

Posted on May 8, 2023

Salem Health Cancer Institute tapped to join early detection study; people aged 50 and older may be eligible to participate.

The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is collaborating with the Salem Health Cancer Institute on a study designed to help improve the early detection of cancer.

The PATHFINDER 2 Study will evaluate the performance of a multi-cancer early detection test, that can detect many types of cancer through a simple blood draw.

“People around Oregon, and in the greater Salem area, will be among the first to have the opportunity to be tested,” says Nima Nabavizadeh, M.D., principal investigator on the Pathfinder 2 study. “Being at the forefront of generating new knowledge means we have the ability to bring it to our communities faster.”

Individuals aged 50 and older who meet eligibility criteria and receive care at OHSU’s main campus, community and participating health system clinics, including Salem Health, may be eligible to participate in PATHFINDER 2, which currently is enrolling. Study participants will receive test results within 30 days or less from the time of the blood draw.

About the multi-cancer early detection test

GRAIL’s multi-cancer early detection test is designed to detect many types of cancer through a blood draw. It looks for signals of cancer that currently may be present.

If a signal that may be cancer is detected, the test is designed to identify the location in the body the signal may be coming from, for example, the lungs or the colon. This information helps clinicians determine the appropriate tests to confirm whether cancer is present. GRAIL’s test is capable of detecting more than 50 types of cancer, including cancer types for which no screening tests currently are available.

This study is an important step on the multi-cancer early detection test’s path to commercialization.

The importance of early detection 

“In general, we know that when we can find cancer early, we have better survival rates,” says Nabavizadeh, also the director of early detection research at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Cancer Early Detection Advanced Research, CEDAR, Center. “We also know there are many cancer types for which we have no screening methods. The fact that this test screens for those types of cancers – pancreatic, ovarian, and more – is incredibly exciting.”

CEDAR is the first large-scale early cancer detection center of its kind. Its mission is to detect and stop lethal cancers at the earliest stage because early detection saves lives. By leveraging the world-class researchers at OHSU and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, CEDAR can improve patient lives through collaborative projects in engineering, genetics, early cancer biology, population science, clinical oncology, and clinical trials.

Other Pathfinder 2 study sites include the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and Sutter Health.

Eligibility Criteria

The Pathfinder 2 study aims to enroll individuals aged 50 years or older with no cancer diagnosis or treatment in the last 3 years who meet eligibility criteria. Participants in previous or ongoing GRAIL-sponsored studies are not eligible to participate in the Pathfinder 2 study. See more eligibility criteria for Pathfinder 2 on the OHSU and GRAIL websites.

Interested in enrolling?

If you are interested in enrolling or have additional questions, contact a Pathfinder 2 study team member at either Salem or OHSU Portland below.

Salem: (phone) 503-814-1435, (email)“>

OHSU Portland: (phone) 503-418-8150, (email)


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