Celebrating 10 Years of CancerIQ

Jun 23, 2023

Last week we celebrated CancerIQ’s 10th anniversary, and I could not be more proud of how much we’ve grown. Most companies never make it to 10 years, and we did it with flying colors (and a lot of grit): Today our platform is being used in over 200 clinical locations nationwide to turn cancer risk assessment and genetic testing into actionable, evidence-based care plans for early cancer detection and prevention. And I believe our most exciting chapter is still to come. Why I’m so excited about the future can only be explained with a bit of backstory — and ours is one of teamwork, innovation, and a lot of determination.



It all started back in 2013. Exactly 10 years ago, the Supreme Court ruled against patenting human genes. The impact of that ruling cannot be overstated. Instead of Myriad going it alone in the world of cancer genetics, the decision threw open the door for many more to join in, expanding access to genetic testing options and kicking off a decade of genomic innovation. 

At the same time, I was setting out to commercialize a research database inspired by the work of my mom, renowned oncologist Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade. I teamed up with Haibo Lu, who is now CancerIQ’s Chief Data Officer, and together we founded CancerIQ. The idea was to analyze clinical and genetic data to advance research and outcomes for cancer survivors and previvors. But we quickly realized no one had genetic data to analyze, and we needed to solve a different problem.

That’s why in 2015 we launched the CancerIQ Navigator, a solution designed to streamline the identification of patients with elevated cancer risk, so no patient would fall through the cracks. For the first time, clinicians could see who had completed digital cancer risk assessments and who was eligible and interested in genetic testing, all in one place. This presented a new problem: Our platform was finding more eligible patients than any genetic counseling team could accommodate. We solved this in 2016 with CancerIQ Specialist, a product that improves genetic counselor efficiency by streamlining risk assessment workflows and equipping other clinicians to deliver genetics support.

True to form, we found yet another bottleneck our nimble team needed to address – managing high-risk patients over time. It’s not enough to identify a patient’s cancer risk and provide a single screening. To see the true benefit of cancer risk assessment and genetic testing, we needed to help clinicians manage preventive care plans over time, and adapt those care plans as cancer guidelines changed. So in 2017, after fastidiously studying patient care pathways, we released CancerIQ Manager to support long-term cancer prevention and survivorship care, from outreach to navigation and coordination. Then in 2019, we launched CancerIQ Analytics, so all the business stakeholders behind CancerIQ had a way to quantify the clinical and financial value of this work.

For the last four years, we’ve seen this product suite deliver an incredible impact – from doubling service capacity to generating significant financial return to shifting cancer diagnoses to earlier stages. And now we have quantifiable, peer-reviewed data that shows our platform increases genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes more than two-fold. Today, when still less than 7% of oncology patients receive genetic testing, we are poised to have a profound impact on population health outcomes. That’s what has attracted partnerships with genetic testing labs, pharma, and many others in our ecosystem who are amplifying our reach. I’m proud to see hundreds of leaders in the field singing praises of CancerIQ.

But that’s not where our story ends. Along this journey, I lost several close friends and family members to cancer when they were far too young. No one close to me has survived late stage cancer — and seeing so many others miss screenings during the pandemic made me realize we need to think bigger.

Being on a mission to end cancer as we know it calls for addressing more than genetic risk factors. Learning cancer risk at age 40 or 50 is too late, and the focus on genetic risk alone isn’t enough to close the gap for patients diagnosed at younger ages and later stages. So in 2022, CancerIQ for Preventive Care was born. This solution aims to leverage hyper-personalized cancer prevention pathways based on comprehensive risk factors, including family history, lifestyle and screening adherence, in addition to genetic risk.

Finally, this year we went one step further. To ensure patients weren’t waiting on genetic counseling to start preventive care, we partnered with telehealth genetic counseling companies to roll out CancerIQ Complete – a full-service virtual navigation and genetic counseling program. And this past quarter, our first client went live with this new offering.  

All this to say that CancerIQ’s success in this first decade is a true testament to our steadfast belief that we can get ahead of cancer. We’ve been nimble, strategic, and scrappy in getting to this point, and the hard work has started to pay off. Today, we are the only independent cancer prevention and early detection platform in the space. We integrate with the leading EHRs; we have content partnerships with every major patient advocacy organization; and we are backed by more than a trillion dollars of market cap, with investments from Amgen Ventures, McKesson Ventures and Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. 

I know the strategies that got us here will continue to serve us in the next decade, especially as the industry approaches the next inflection point. We are living in a time of groundbreaking medical research and rapid innovation in cancer care. Today we have the tools and technology to proactively identify the patients who might benefit from a multi-cancer early detection test — and then connect patients in the earliest stages of disease to life-saving therapies that may not have existed 10 years ago.

The time for bigger and bolder is now, and we are humbled by the potential impact CancerIQ can have on patients and their families in the next decade. Here’s to the next 10 years!