MADISON, Wis., Sept. 22, 2022 — Exact Sciences Corp., a leading provider of cancer screening and diagnostic tests, today awarded $525,000 in grants to eight federally qualified health centers focused on improving colorectal cancer screening rates in vulnerable populations.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is treatable in 90% of cases when detected earlyi, yet approximately 44 million average-risk Americans over age 45 remain unscreened.ii Half of premature colon cancer deaths are due to racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic inequalities.iii Black Americans are most likely to develop colorectal cancer, and most likely to die from it.iv Hispanic Americans have the second-highest death rate.iv
“Exact Sciences is energized by the call to action within the Biden Administration’s Cancer Moonshot plan and recognizes the important role our company can play in defeating cancer,” said Dr. Durado Brooks, deputy chief medical officer, Screening at Exact Sciences. “Through our new national FOCUS program, we’re committed to expanding equitable access to early detection and reducing barriers to cancer care within our communities.”
Exact Sciences’ new health equity program, Funding Opportunities for CRC Screening Uptake Strategies (FOCUS), provides grant funding to community organizations focused on addressing these disparities. Awardees will utilize the funds to implement evidence-based and informed intervention strategies proven to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. These include supporting the screening recovery after COVID-19, improving clinic practices to assist patients with the screening process, working with pharmacists to increase access to screening options, and enhancing patient navigation efforts.
Exact Sciences developed Cologuard®, the first and only FDA-approved, non-invasive, multi-target, stool-based DNA screening test. Since making the test available in 2014, more than 9 million people have used Cologuard to screen for colon cancer at home.
Exact Sciences reviewed submissions via its corporate grants process which is fully independent from sales and marketing activities. Funding decisions were solely based on the strength of the application and alignment to the FOCUS Program objectives, without regard to any actual or potential commercial relationship with potential grantees.
Access Community Health Center
Access Community Health Centers will use funding from the Exact Sciences 2022 FOCUS Program to increase colorectal cancer screening rates for our patients. Access serves a racially and ethnically diverse patient population with high rates of poverty, many of whom experience significant health disparities. This funding will provide culturally appropriate patient education materials; provide staff and provider education on effective screening best practices; outreach to patients who are overdue for colorectal cancer screening; and work with patients to decrease barriers to screening.
AtlantiCare Health Services
Atlantic City, NJ
The funding will increase colorectal cancer screening to support vulnerable populations in Atlantic County. AtlantiCare will work to reducing barriers to follow-up colonoscopy adherence, promote and improve compliance for screening average risk adults, ages 45-75. Additionally, AtlantiCare will focus on building stronger communities through new and maintained collaboration with community stakeholders.
Community HealthCare Network, Inc
New York, NY
Community Healthcare Network (CHN) will implement a comprehensive, integrated colorectal cancer Navigation program with a hyper-focus on the vulnerable and under screened patient populations, especially uninsured patients, ages 45-55. The program will be led by a Cancer Care Manager, whose role it will be to ensure colon cancer screening efficacy at all CHN health centers throughout New York City. By targeting individuals with the lowest screening rates CHN aims to lower the burden of advanced colon cancer within the communities it serves.
Angeles Community Health Center
Los Angeles, CA
As a Federally Qualified Health Center, Angeles consistently screens for colorectal cancer. Using its already-in-place process for screening patients, Angeles will examine and report on colorectal cancer screenings specifically for low-income, Latino patients ages 45-75 of Angeles patient population.
Mariposa Community Health Center
Santa Cruz County, AZ
MCHC is the largest primary care provider in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. As colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, MCHC aims to decrease death rates due to colon cancer and increase identification of early-stage colon cancer in the county by launching a pharmacist-led screening campaign. The MCHC Clinical Pharmacy Team, in collaboration with MCHC Community Health Workers, has led a successful program to serve its patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Because epidemiological data have demonstrated a significant association between the presence of type 2 diabetes mellitus and the development of colorectal cancer, MCHC aims to focus on this population.
Mount Sinai Internal Medicine Associates
New York, NY
The Cologuard stool DNA test is a cost-effective strategy to improve equity in colorectal cancer screening. At a large primary care clinic at The Mount Sinai Hospital serving a vulnerable urban population, orders have significantly increased but completion is limited by suboptimal rates of kit return. Based on our experience with tailored patient navigation, we propose a model in which patients receive tablet-based video instruction at point of order, and a patient navigator will reinforce instructions and overcome patient-specific barriers. We will also engage providers to improve model adherence, order growth, and overall screening.
Mountain Park Health Center
Mountain Park Health Center will expand its Colorectal Cancer Screening and Referral Program (CCSR). The program will use a full-time cancer screening navigator and various evidence-based interventions to bring about system change and sustainability for years to come. Expected outcomes include increasing the percentage of adults who had appropriate colorectal cancer screening rates to 50% or more; and improving the number of timely referrals for follow-up care for patients with abnormal test results.
San Joaquin Health Center
San Joaquin Health Centers, a FQHC Look-Alike serving California’s San Joaquin County serves approximately 30,000 unique patients annually with over 9,000 of its patients aged 45-79. The percentage of patients ages 50 through 75 years of age who had appropriate screening for CRC at San Joaquin Health dropped from 2019 to 2021. To address this, San Joaquin Health will enact multicomponent interventions focused on increasing community/patient demand for colorectal cancer screening, improving community/patient access to CRC screening, and increasing provider delivery of screening. Through these sustainable interventions San Joaquin Health will promote and improve compliance for CRC screening of average risk patients.
A leading provider of cancer screening and diagnostic tests, Exact Sciences relentlessly pursues smarter solutions providing the clarity to take life-changing action, earlier. Building on the success of Cologuard® and Oncotype® tests, Exact Sciences is investing in its product pipeline to support patients before and throughout their cancer diagnosis and treatment. Exact Sciences unites visionary collaborators to help advance the fight against cancer. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.exactsciences.com, follow Exact Sciences on Twitter @ExactSciences, or find Exact Sciences on Facebook and LinkedIn.
The Cologuard test was approved by the FDA in August 2014, and results from Exact Sciences’ prospective 90-site, point-in-time, 10,000-patient pivotal trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March 2014. The Cologuard test is included in the American Cancer Society’s (2018) colorectal cancer screening guidelines and the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2021) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2016). The Cologuard test is indicated to screen adults 45 years of age and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer by detecting certain DNA markers and blood in the stool. Do not use the Cologuard test if you have had precancer, have inflammatory bowel disease and certain hereditary syndromes, or have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer. The Cologuard test is not a replacement for colonoscopy in high risk patients. The Cologuard test performance in adults ages 45-49 is estimated based on a large clinical study of patients 50 and older. The Cologuard test performance in repeat testing has not been evaluated.
The Cologuard test result should be interpreted with caution. A positive test result does not confirm the presence of cancer. Patients with a positive test result should be referred for diagnostic colonoscopy. A negative test result does not confirm the absence of cancer. Patients with a negative test result should discuss with their doctor when they need to be tested again. Medicare and most major insurers cover the Cologuard test. For more information about the Cologuard test, visit cologuard.com. Rx only. Medicare and most major insurers cover Cologuard. For more information about Cologuard, visit www.cologuard.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements concerning our expectations, anticipations, intentions, beliefs, or strategies regarding the future. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that we have made as of the date hereof and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, conditions, and events to differ materially from those anticipated. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties that may affect our forward-looking statements are described in the Risk Factors sections of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and in our other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise.
i American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2020-2022. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2020.
ii Piscitello A, Edwards DK. Estimating the screening-eligible population size, aged 45 to 74, at average risk to develop colorectal cancer in the United States. Cancer Prev Res.2020;13(5):443-448. *Estimate based on the US population aged 45-74 as of 2018, adjusted for the reported rates of high-risk conditions and prior screening history for CRC.
i[i][i] Jemal A, Siegel RL, Ma J, et al. Inequalities in premature death from colorectal cancer by state. J Clin Oncol. 2015;33(8):829-835. doi:10.1200/JCO.2014.58.7519.
iv Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, Part I: National Cancer Statistics. Henley; 2021.
Exact Sciences Corp.
Exact Sciences Corp.