Curing cancer. It’s the big one. But what if there was a non-invasive way to detect it? That’s the audacious promise of MCED tests (multi-cancer early detection). Unlike the current suite of screenings for common cancers (breast, bowel, cervical), MCED tests look for the genetic markers of cancer cells in blood, then machine learning works out where the cancer could be in the body. It sounds too good to be true. False positives and false negatives are a problem for all screenings, but particularly if this very new technology is looking for over 50 cancers in an otherwise healthy population. These tests are also very expensive (£1,000 if you want to get one privately). Still, investment is flowing in. Analysts predict MCED could expand as a sector from $1.5 billion this year to $23 billion by 2031 and the pharma companies behind the tests have been lobbying governments hard. The NHS will be hoping for proof of concept and economies of scale.