About the Study


The ChicagO Multiethnic Prevention And Surveillance Study (COMPASS) is a longitudinal research study that aims to understand how lifestyle, environmental, biological and other factors impact our risk of developing cancer and other chronic diseases, and why some racial or population sub-groups are at greater risk than others.

To study what causes these disparities, our researchers are traveling into 40 Chicago neighborhoods to recruit study participants, with the goal of recruiting a total of 100,000 people over time. Eligible participants are asked to complete a specially designed interview (questions about lifestyle, environmental exposure, health-related information, and medical history), and to provide a blood and urine sample.

These samples allow us to examine how components measured in the blood and urine (e.g. environmental toxins) interact with hereditary, lifestyle and/or behavioral factors that contribute to disease development and progression. Participants are also asked to fill out a follow-up questionnaire every two to three years to obtain updated health information.

Identifying what causes diseases and their differences across population sub-groups will help us develop new strategies to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases among Chicagoans. In particular, we hope that this project will lessen the cancer and chronic disease burden currently experienced by many minority groups in Chicago.

As of June 2017, we have recruited approximately 3,400 participants from 20 different Chicago neighborhoods. Recruitment is ongoing.  Click here to find out how to participate.


COMPASS is funded by the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of two NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Illinois.