Human biospecimens are essential for translational cancer research. They provide materials needed to directly investigate the mechanisms of neoplasia, to identify genes and proteins relevant to cancer pathogenesis, to validate biomarkers which can better predict the course of disease, and to develop new or personalized medical therapies for cancer patients. Accordingly, the goal of the Tissue Procurement Core (TPC) is to provide cancer center members with a centralized, integrated, and cost-effective resource to collect, store, and utilize human biospecimens for translational cancer research. This goal is achieved by three related aims: 1) To provide a general archive of annotated frozen tumor and patient-matched nonmalignant tissues ('tumor bank') for pilot, retrospective correlative science studies; 2) To assist investigators in the prospective collection and storage of biospecimens from participants enrolled on specific clinical studies; 3) To facilitate the use of human biospecimens and their derivatives for molecular and genomic cancer research. Dedicated staff and facilities are used to generate nucleic acid (genomic DNA and RNA) and histological sections from collected patient specimens for investigator studies. Technologies to facilitate tissuebased translational research such as laser capture microdissection and tissue microarray construction are also available. Active participation in the Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBlG *) program has resulted in the development and adoption of caTissue Suite, a state-of-the-art web-based, software application for tracking annotating, and requesting biospecimens. Increasing standardization, following the NCI's Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research (OBBR) Best Practices recommendations, continues to improve the quality and efficiency of Core operations. To date, the TPC has provided high-quality biospecimens and biospecimen-related services for numerous funded and published studies, and continues to be a national leader in biospecimen banking informatics.

Public Health Relevance

Human biospecimens are essential for translational cancer research that ultimately leads to improved measures for cancer prevention and treatment. The goal of the Tissue Procurement Core is to assist cancer researchers in the collection, storage, and utilization of biospecimens collected from cancer patients and study participants, in order to better understand the molecular and genomic basis of cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
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Washington University
Saint Louis
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