Director: Mark Thornquist PhD
The public website for COMPASS is: http://www.compass.fhcrc.org/
The mission of the Comprehensive Center for the Advancement of Scientific Strategies (COMPASS) is to support research aimed at eliminating cancer and other diseases of public health importance. COMPASS offers a strong foundation for health research studies by providing study coordination to scientific investigators.
COMPASS fulfills its mission by:
COMPASS has been directing multi-center studies in public health research for over 25 years. A program within the Cancer Prevention Program in the Public Health Sciences (PHS) Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), COMPASS provides full-spectrum operational support for research. The first study was the Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET) which was funded in 1983. CARET was a chemoprevention trial to determine the effects of beta-carotene and vitamin A supplements on the incidence of lung cancer in high-risk populations. In December 2007, CARET was funded by the Canary Foundation to continue support of the specimen biorepository and develop a website that would provide data searches on CARET specimens where potential investigators could apply to request use of samples for hypothesis-driven ancillary studies. Between 1996 and 2000, COMPASS also directed the Olestra Post-Marketing Surveillance Study (OPMSS). COMPASS currently directs two large, multi-center health research studies: the Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) and the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC). COMPASS continues to be the Coordinating Center for the CARET biorepository and is the Coordination Center for the Asia Cancer Consortium (ACC), which is part of the FHCRC Global Health Research Initiative (GHRI). COMPASS developed, manages, and maintains the FHCRC PHS-Virtual Biospecimen Repository as a means for facilitating the use of the rich PHS biospecimen collections.
As part of all these studies, COMPASS has provided logistical and coordination support and developed and maintained extensive specimen banks including development of procedures to store, inventory, and track samples as they are withdrawn for laboratory analyses. Over this period of time, COMPASS has also built multiple generations of systems designed to assist with data collection, end to end, from the time a participant answers questionnaires at a clinic to when their donated specimen is assayed at the laboratory bench. COMPASS has collaborated with investigators around the globe in providing informatics systems to assist with their studies and expertise in the development of Common Data Elements and harmonization of data across projects. These informatics tools not only enable efficiencies for a particular study/trial, but also allow for future data contribution on a broad grid of scientific research performed at various sites within the United States and across the world.