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Information for CARET Participants
The CARET Repository has been a valuable resource for the continuation of cancer research. To enhance our database, in 2015 we obtained cancer and mortality data from national death indices and the state cancer registries of Washington, California, and Connecticut. We remain committed to maintaining our participants’ confidentiality, and all new data received are secured in the CARET central database. Any data shared with investigators for research will have all identifiers removed to maintain confidentiality. Should you wish to learn more about this, please click to contact CARET staff.

Our Mission
To share biological specimens from the CARET Biorepository with researchers of hypothesis-driven studies investigating cancer causation, early detection, and treatment.
The Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET) was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of the cancer prevention efficacy and safety of a daily combination of 30 mg of beta-carotene and 25,000 IU of retinyl palmitate in 18,314 persons at high risk for lung cancer. CARET began in 1985, and the intervention was halted in January 1996, 21 months ahead of schedule, with the twin conclusions for definitive evidence of no benefit and substantial evidence of a harmful effect of the intervention on both lung cancer incidence and total mortality. CARET continued to actively follow and collect endpoints on their participants through 2005. Passive follow-up to extend cancer and death outcomes through 2013 was conducted via linkages with select cancer registries and the National Death Index (NDI). During the active intervention phase of CARET, serum, plasma, whole blood, and lung tissue specimens were collected on participants. These biospecimens make up the CARET Biorepository.

The CARET Biorepository is a valuable resource for population-based studies of the major human cancers. During CARET's twenty-nine years of follow-up (1985-2013), we have received reports of 2,460 participants with lung cancer, 1,256 with prostate cancer, 606 with breast cancer, 541 with bladder cancer, 512 with colorectal cancer, and 2,557 with other cancers. CARET is one of the few trials that has prospectively collected serum, plasma, whole blood, blood spots (for DNA), and lung cancer tumor specimens, as well as smoking history and serial food frequency questionnaires (in some individuals for up to 12 years) in populations at high risk for lung cancer. This wealth of information in over 18,000 individuals makes the CARET Biorepository a special resource for cancer researchers. It is important that this resource be available to a wide range of researchers for hypothesis-driven studies. We have established policies for the use of the CARET Biorepository and a process for review and decision making of proposed studies. One of the important premises of these policies is recognition of the unique characteristics of the CARET population and the limited number of specimens available. It has been a policy of the CARET Steering Committee that these specimens should not be used to conduct pilot studies or methods development that can be easily conducted in other populations, but only for analyses that focus on confirming or refuting important relevant hypotheses. This website will provide investigators with background information on CARET, the findings of the trial, specimen availability, and information on how to request specimens for hypothesis-driven studies.


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