Connect for Cancer Prevention Study

Learning How to Better Prevent Cancer

Sanford Health is one of nine health care systems partnering with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for the Connect for Cancer Prevention Study.

Connect is a prospective cohort study examining the etiology of cancer and its outcomes. This research may inform new approaches in precision prevention and early detection of cancer.


About Connect

This multi-year study will include 200,000 participants. Through serial collections of health surveys and biospecimens, researchers will explore how health and behavioral patterns may affect cancer risk over time.

By collecting biospecimens over time, researchers can study:

  • Epigenome
  • Genome
  • Metabolome
  • Microbiome
  • Proteome
  • Transcriptome
  • Other biological processes

Researchers will use new technologies and novel exposure and biomarker assessment tools to investigate suspected and emerging factors that could affect cancer development.

Follow-up via tumor registries and electronic health records will provide outcome information for cancers and cancer precursors in the long term.

Goals of the Study

Cancer risk factors may vary based on where people live, their race, their age and other characteristics. The study wants to include participants from different places and backgrounds, so all communities can benefit from our research discoveries.

By joining, patients will be part of a community that is driven to learn what causes cancer and how to prevent it.

Patient Enrollment

Connect is interested in enrolling Sanford Health patients who are 40 to 65 years old at enrollment and have no history of cancer.

Patients who have or once had non-melanoma skin cancer, such as basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, or a condition that raises the risk of cancer (like ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)), are still eligible to join Connect.

Eligible patients will receive an invitation to join the Connect for Cancer Prevention Study through My Sanford Chart and by mail. They can also learn more about Connect and join the study by visiting

Participants will:

  • Share electronic health records with researchers
  • Complete online health surveys at enrollment and a few times a year
  • Donate samples of blood, urine and saliva at enrollment and every two to three years