Five-year-old precision oncology company Taproot Health announced this week the launched of the Master Registry of Oncology Outcomes Associated to Testing and Treatment (ROOT), a national oncology master trial the company say will be the conrerstoe to building a national oncology database.
To seed the new effort, the company has signed on five hospitals and clinics, including three National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers that will collaborate to build an infrastructure to collect and share high-quality, patient-consented data that can be used to provide precision care to cancer patients.
“ROOT is a new class of master protocols known as the Master Observational Trial (MOT) designed to collect regulatory-grade real-world data benefitting all stakeholders in cancer care,” said Dane J. Dickson, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Taproot Health in a press release.
The five centers tapped to help launch the effort include NCI-designated cancer centers University of California at San Diego Moores Cancer Center, San Diego; The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health, Philadelphia; and The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health Science University, Portland, Oregon. It also includes two community oncology clinics: Utah Cancer Specialists, Salt Lake City, and Teton Cancer Institute, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
“This endeavor is crucial to advancing the field of precision oncology. The data will provide the large- scale, high-quality evidence to answer complex questions that can be solved in no other way,” said ROOT Principal Investigator Razelle Kurzrock, M.D., director, Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy at the University of California at San Diego.
ROOT is designed to solve what Taproot’s founders see as a critical gap in delivering precision cancer care—the fragmented and siloed approach to using critical cancer research and patient outcomes data.
“Precision Oncology is stunted when critical patient data is not broadly shared. The ROOT MOT will serve as the foundational effort to collect and share the standardized and quality data that is needed to rapidly advance precision oncology,” said Jennifer Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., precision medicine director, Department of Medical Oncology at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and a principal investigator for ROOT.
What the five affiliated hospitals and practices, dubbed Cornerstone Centers by Taproot, will provide is a critical mass of data that should help suggest new treatment pathways that might not otherwise be discovered for providing care for individual patients. It will also help bridge the gap between the care received by the 80% of cancer patients who receive their care in the community setting.
“To date, no effort has successfully unified academic and community practices to work together in collecting the quantity of data necessary to advance precision oncology, “said Raymond Bergan, M.D., of the Knight Cancer Institute. “We need a national network that will allow the assimilation of data for development of new diagnostic testing and acceleration of patient accrual for clinical trials.”
If ROOT is successful, the company says, it will solve a fundamental roadblock to delivering better, more precise care to patients.
“No single research institution or oncology stakeholder is able to collect this much regulatory-grade data for a multitude of reasons,” said Rebecca Owens, Taproot Health’s co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). “Taproot Health’s data-as-a-service enterprise is geared to unite all oncology stakeholders in creating a nationwide oncology database comprised of patient-consented, high-quality prospective data that meets rigorous scientific standards.”