The University of Kansas Cancer Center (KUCC) has established biospecimen banking activities to coordinate the ethical collection, storage, annotation, and distribution of tissue and peripheral blood samples to support translational research. This center-wide activity is overseen by an inter-programmatic Internal Advisory Board (I AB), under the recent supervision of Andrew K. Godwin within the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. The BSR has three major functions: 1) identify participants, administer 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;2) process and house human biospecimens obtained through investigator-initiated studies;and 3) provide expert histology technical procedures and pathological evaluation of tissue samples. Working in collaboration with pathologists, medical oncologists, surgeons and other hospital personnel, specially trained staff obtain patient consent, collect samples and assemble comprehensive clinical information about each donor and the corresponding samples. As part of this banking the BSR staff provides i) outstanding diagnostic pathology support;ii) a comprehensive informed consent process for the use of tissue, blood, and/or urine from patients and participants for research;iii) a specialized biospecimen bank devoted to the collection and distribution of specimens to support research;iv) extensive supporting data from the clinical record and self-reported health history of each participant, and v) fixation, paraffin processing, slide preparation and routine staining, immunohistochemistry support, tissue microarray, image analysis and digital pathology. All specimens will be linked to comprehensive clinical databases supported by the Biostatistics and Informatics Shared Resource. The BSR currently houses over 2,000 cases with fresh-frozen tissue samples and over 2,000 cases with blood samples and has access to over 28,000 surgical pathology cases on file. In 2010 the BSR served 16 (Q peer-reviewed funded) KUCC investigators across the four programs, including distribution of 382 fresh and fresh-frozen specimens, 666 units of activity to support investigator-initiated studies, and 3,105 units of histotechnology services. 47.4% of the BSR's use in 2010 was by peer-reviewed funded investigators.
Translational research requires access to appropriately consented and well-characterized human biosamples. Therefore, facilities such as the BSR are essential to the mission of a comprehensive cancer center.
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