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The PIONEER Initiative: Precision Insights On N-of-1 Ex Vivo Effectiveness Research Based on Individual Tumor Ownership (Precision Oncology)

Study Purpose

The PIONEER Initiative stands for Precision Insights On N-of-1 Ex vivo Effectiveness Research. The PIONEER Initiative is designed to provide access to functional precision medicine to any cancer patient with any tumor at any medical facility. Tumor tissue is saved at time of biopsy or surgery in multiple formats, including fresh and cryopreserved as a living biospecimen. SpeciCare assists with access to clinical records in order to provide information back to the patient and the patient's clinical care team. The biospecimen tumor tissue is stored in a bio-storage facility and can be shipped anywhere the patient and the clinical team require for further testing. Additionally, the cryopreservation of the biospecimen allows for decisions about testing to be made at a later date. It also facilitates participation in clinical trials. The ability to return research information from this repository back to the patient is the primary end point of the study. The secondary end point is the subjective assessment by the patient and his or her physician as to the potential benefit that this additional information provides over standard of care. Overall the goal of PIONEER is to enable best in class functional precision testing of a patient's tumor tissue to help guide optimal therapy (to date this type of analysis includes organoid drug screening approaches in addition to traditional genomic profiling).

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 1 Month - 99 Years
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

- All patients diagnosed with cancer and all patients at risk of cancer

Exclusion Criteria:

-Patients who decline definitive therapies Patients with comorbidities that prevent definitive therapies Patients on hospice

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Ken Dixon, MD
Principal Investigator Affiliation SpeciCare
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Cancer, All Types, Cancer of Liver, Cancer of Stomach, Cancer of Head and Neck, Cancer of Rectum, Cancer of Kidney, Cancer of Esophagus, Cancer of Colon, Cancer Skin, Cancer of Cervix, Cancer, Metastatic, Cancer of Larynx, Cancer of Neck, Cancer of Lung, Cancer of Brain and Nervous System, Cancer of Vulva, Disseminated, Cancer of Pancreas, Sarcoma, GIST, Small-cell Lung Cancer, Adenocarcinoma Lung, Cancer of Prostate, Cancer, Advanced, Adrenal Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Uterine Cancer, Bronchoalveolar Cell Lung Cancer, Cancer Unknown Primary, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Oligodendroglioma, Breast Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Cholangiocarcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Transitional Cell Carcinoma, Cancer, Other, Cancer, Anal, Melanoma, Cancer, Bile Duct, Cancer, Bladder, Cancer Cords Vocal, Cancers Cell Neuroendocrine, Cancer Differentiated Poorly, Cancer, Anaplastic Thyroid
Additional Details

The PIONEER Initiative is a lead clinical trial designed to provide the foundation for subsequent adaptive trials. The mission with this and subsequent trial activity will be to demonstrate the utility of carrying out functional precision medicine in that cohort of patients who receive local cancer care at institutions that do not have significant research capabilities or are not NCI-designated cancer centers. As discussed above, the vast majority of cancer patients (~85%) are in this category. It is imperative to open up the possibility of best-in-class functional precision medicine testing to these patients. Core aspects of the PIONEER Initiative include recruiting a cadre of up to 200 patients, showing that proof of concept in a more limited set of patients can ultimately scale to arbitrarily large numbers of patients. It is anticipated that PIONEER will continue as the foundation for subsequent clinical trials into the indefinite future. This evolving trial structure fills an important unmet need within the broader cancer community since the primary mission is the return of actionable information in order to positively impact care. The underlying basic assumption of the PIONEER Initiative is that the ability to receive the best in cancer care should not be restricted as to location, age, or medical condition. The PIONEER Initiative design facilitates inclusion of subjects across all these divides, thus providing beneficence to all participants. A key aspect of the PIONEER Initiative is to provide patient benefit through a data and tissue biorepository to be utilized by researchers to discover new cancer diagnostics, treatment therapies and preventive strategies. Additionally, the data and samples will be used to improve existing treatments and to understand, at the molecular level, changes occurring during transition from illness to remission and/or relapse. SpeciCare, through the PIONEER Initiative, will store de-identified self-reported data, medical records, and biological samples from individuals who consent to participate in PIONEER. PIONEER will obtain further study and testing as appropriate and return results, through CLIA certified labs, through research vetted by CLIA testing, and, as enabled by current regulatory standards, through delivery of research results back to the patient and patient's clinical care team. SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES 1. To establish a data and tissue biobank comprised of high quality biological specimens and associated clinical data that will support drug discovery, diagnostic assay development, oncology biomarker discovery, molecular biology, immuno-oncology therapies, translational medicine and other future discoveries as novel methods become available. 2. To facilitate and accelerate oncology research, including genetic research (e.g. whole genome sequencing), by providing a pipeline of high quality specimens and associated clinical data for researchers to access.

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

Specicare, Gainesville, Georgia





Gainesville, Georgia, 30501