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Tissue Repository

Background

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In recent years, human biological material (e.g. tissues, cells, nucleic acids) obtained through common diagnostic procedures has become an important resource for biomedical research. In oncology, tumor tissue samples represent a precious tool for both clinical and experimental research. These tissues, preserved in optimal conditions, are an essential resource for identifying novel biomarkers for specific therapies. Progress in genome and proteome research has also allowed us to differentiate multifactorial diseases previously considered as a single disorder into more precise diagnostic entities. This achievement provides the basis for developing a more personalized treatment approach, optimizing clinical protocols and improving disease prevention.

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However, in order to ascertain the etiology of complex diseases, it is necessary to have access to a wide collection of biological samples with epidemiological, clinical, biological and molecular data from a large number of patients and healthy persons.

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The concept of tissue banking as a “bio-repository” aimed to collection, storing and distribution of human biological material and clinical information, has, therefore, emerged as a successful strategy to support clinical and translational research. In particular, Tumor Biobanks / Repositories represent a key resource for diagnosis, research and experimental therapies, especially for those correlated to clinical application of a new type of medicine known as “intelligent drugs”.

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Biobanks  need an institutional organization, basically a research unit, whose effectiveness and quality can be guaranteed only if it is carefully organized according to precise rules.

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Tissue SpecimenWhy set up a tissue bank?

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Access to tissue banks/repositories means that we can ask more intelligent questions, through being able to access large numbers of samples with multiple variants, or select highly matched patient groups from a larger cohort.

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  • Development of a cancer depends on  the acquisition of a number of growth control defects within a clone of cells
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  • The ability to pool information on a number of different molecular changes should provide a better insight into the process of carcinogenesis
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  • The quality of the molecular biological data generated depends on the quality of the material used and above all on pathological diagnosis
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Why make use of a tissue bank?

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To provide cancer researchers with high quality samples and associated clinical information in a manner that is safe, efficient and ethical.

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  •  Issues of consent from patients
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  •   Material is collected in a uniform way to written protocols
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  •   Can use high throughput methods to screen large numbers of samples
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  •   Can link biological results to clinical presentation and outcome or to response to therapy
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What type of bio specimens should be collected?

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It is vital to collect and preserve disease as well as normal tissues and blood for prospective research initiative as an organized bank.

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  • Serum/plasma samples can be used to study protein markers of disease
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  • Blood samples to extract DNA to look for germline polymorphisms
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  • Pairs of samples from frozen tumour and normal tissue – can look at expression of protein and RNA, and DNA alterations
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What type of data should be collected?

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  • Standard information – age, sex, family history
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  • Detailed pathology information – subtype of tumour, stage/grade of disease, clinical markers
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  • Type of treatment (radiation/chemotherapy)
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  • Toxicity (if possible)
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  • Outcome of treatment – relapse when and where
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Services provided by a tissue bank

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The Tissue Repository (TR) provides researchers with high quality and well documented biomaterials in a variety of formats. These may be derived from cancer or non-cancer tissue. Currently the most common formats supplied are:

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  • DNA
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  • RNA
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  • Primary cultures
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  • Tissue samples
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  • Cryostat sections
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Steps involved in providing TR's standard services are as follows:

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Additional Services offered by TR:

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