Our overall goal of individualizing cancer treatment can only be met if biological specimens from patients are readily available to guide the need for therapy, the selection of therapy and the optimal dosing of available treatments. Furthermore, discovery of new prognostic and predictive factors will be greatly facilitated by the availability of high quality specimen repositories that contain carefully preserved materials derived from patients who have been uniformly staged and treated and for whom clinical outcomes are known, i.e., from patients enrolled on clinical trials. Conducting correlative science studies requires a coordinated system that includes centralized collection of tumor cells, tissues and biological fluids, storage under controlled conditions, a comprehensive inventory management system, a process to distribute specimens to qualified investigators and to receive the assay results from research laboratories, and policies to address responsible conduct of research, including safeguarding patient confidentiality. Ultimately, the results of the laboratory studies must be linked to and correlated with the clinical outcomes of patients treated on CALGB trials so that statistically valid conclusions can be drawn about the relationship between tumor biology and treatment outcomes. Thus, our specific objectives are as follows: 1) To sustain the core operations of the CALGB specimen repositories including specimen collection, storage, quality control, distribution, inventory management, security and confidentiality;2) To participate in the development of and implement best practices for the operation of human specimen repositories under the guidance of the Group Banking Committee;3) To participate in the development of a web-based portal by the Group Banking Committee which will help to describe the inventory of all the Cooperative Group specimen repositories and insure that this information is publicly available;4) To collaborate with qualified investigators from all over the world in the conduct of outstanding translational research projects that utilize the CALGB specimen repositories and associated clinical data.
Our mission is clear, to improve the outcomes of cancer patients through research. To achieve this goal we pursue a central theme that pervades all of our work in CALGB, individualization of cancer treatment. Whether by use of molecular markers to direct therapy;assessment of a patient's DNA to identify individuals at risk for toxicity;or identification of the needs of special populations we believe that through our work we are offering patients tomorrow's Cancer Treatments Today.
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