Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) established biospecimen banking activities in 1987 to coordinate the ethical collection, storage, annotation, and distribution of tissue and peripheral blood samples to support translational research. This centralized, Center-wide activity is under the supervision of Boyd (Leader, Women's Cancer (WC) Program) within the Department of Pathology, and is overseen by an interprogrammatic Facility Advisory Committee (FAC). The Biosample Repository Facility (BRF) is a College of American Pathologists (CAP)-accrediled and CLIA-certified Facility that has two major functions: 1) identify participants, obtain informed consent, collect tissue, blood, and/or urine samples from selected populations, and obtain information on personal and family histories of cancer, clinical intervention, and lifestyle factors for use in research;and 2) process and store human biospecimens obtained through investigator-initiated studies. Working in collaboration with pathologists, medical oncologists, surgeons and other hospital personnel, specially trained BRF staff obtain subject informed consent, collect samples, and assemble comprehensive clinical, pathological, and personal/demographic information about each donor and the corresponding samples. As part of this banking process, the BRF staff provides: 1) outstanding diagnostic pathology support;2) a comprehensive informed consent process for the appropriate use of tissue, blood, and other biospecimens for research;3) a specialized biospecimen bank devoted to the collection and distribution of specimens to support research;and 4) extensive supporting data from the clinical record and self-reported health history of each participant. All specimens are linked to comprehensive clinical databases supported by the Population Studies Facility (PSF). The BRF currently houses over 11,000 fresh-frozen tissue samples, over 29,000 blood samples, and has access to >100,000 surgical pathology cases. The BRF has served 26 FCCC investigators (24 peer-reviewed, funded in CY 2009) across all five CCSG Programs. Ninety-six percent (96%) of the BRF's CY, 2009 use is by peer-reviewed, funded investigators. (See usage table Section V).
Translational research requires ready access to a robust and thoroughly annotated collection of human biosamples, obtained through a process of appropriate informed consent. Thus, a centralized Facility such as the BRF is essential to the research mission of a comprehensive cancer center such as the FCCC.
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