Dr. Ronald Shore, a dermatologist and member of the MCMS for over 40 years, has had a passion for skin cancer screening to save lives. His practice’s serial screening program recently entered its 28th year with over 3,000 skin cancers detected, but cured in every case due to consistent early detection. His wife Paula assisted him in recalling patients so examinations would be performed in a timely manner. Tragically, in 2005 Paula, who had not smoked for 22 years, died of lung cancer despite the most promising available therapies and treatment at NIH.
Following her death, Dr. Shore noticed an article in the Washington Post about a biotech company in Rockville, 2020 GeneSystems, that was developing a new blood test for early detection of lung cancer. Dr. Shore contacted the company and volunteered his time and extensive knowledge and experience in screening to help make the test as effective as possible. The hope was that large numbers of future lung cancer victims and their families would be spared the tragedy his wife and family had experienced. The company in turn named the test, the PAULAs Test, in honor of Dr. Shore’s late wife.
The highly sophisticated test now includes multiple biomarkers related to lung cancer, which have been studied in thousands of individuals before lung cancer was diagnosed. The test now employs artificial intelligence (AI) with analysis of biomarker results to achieve sensitivity and specificity scores of over 80%. A study by the Cleveland Clinic published in 2018 in Biomarker Insights has validated the accuracy of the test relevant to lung cancer detection, and suggests a benefit to the test’s combining clinical features with the biomarker results. Recently, a physician in Richmond, Virginia, John Verheul, M.D., M.P.H., reported that two of his patients had been saved by early detection of lung cancer with the test. It is expected that the inclusion of AI with ongoing incorporation of clinical history, as pioneered by 2020, will make the test even more precise, cutting the number of missed cancers by more than half.
The test has been available most prominently in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC, as well as many other states throughout the U.S., for several years. More recently the test has been adopted in China and Taiwan, and has just become available in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Austria and Japan.
2020’s new multi-cancer screening test, The One Test, has just become available, and is similar to the PAULAs Test but measures more tumor markers to detect additional common cancers including pancreatic, colon, liver, stomach, prostate, ovarian and others, as well as lung. The tests are not yet covered by insurance but can be obtained in physician offices for a charge of $149 for the PAULAs Test and $189 for the One Test.
Members of MCMS who would be interested in learning more about these tests and/or offering them to their patients can contact 2020 GeneSystems (Genesis Biolabs) by telephone at 240-453-6339 Ext 104, or email at OneTestforCancer.com.