The ECOG tissue banks are a critical part of ECOG's translational science program, providing a valuable resource to investigators at both ECOG member and non-member institutions. This application proposes continued support for the coordination and operation of these banks with the goal of collecting, processing, and storing high-quality specimens and making them available to investigators for use in approved correlative science projects. ECOG will increase the marketing of its high quality banked specimens for use in cutting edge research which in turn will change clinical care. ECOG is an active participant in the NCI-Clinical Trials Cooperative Groups'Group Banking Committee (GBC) and is committed to working with the GBC, through ECOG representation on the Steering Committee and subcommittees, toward the common goal of a harmonized system for the collection, processing, storage, and distribution of specimens across all Cooperative Group Banks. The use of common techniques ensures that samples are of sufficient quality for use in cutting edge research, facilitates pooling specimens from multiple banks for large scale translational projects, and enhances the ability to compare results across projects. Common vocabularies and data structures, as well as common policies for specimen requests, make the system easier to navigate for ail investigators regardless of cooperative group membership status. This creates a collegial, robust and productive cancer research system. The three main ECOG specimen banks are the Solid Tumor Bank (the ECOG PCO-RL), the Leukemia Tissue Bank, and the Myeloma Tissue Bank. Each collects and banks well annotated specimens from Cooperative Group clinical trials according to strict SOPs based on recommended Best Practices and follows GBC practices to make them available to investigators.
Banked biospecimens from large cooperative group trials, with clinical annotation and linked follow-up data, can be used for many research projects. The most important projects are those which identify or validate biomarkers;genes or proteins which can be used to predict responses to treatment. The well annotated specimens in the ECOG banks can thus be used to further the mission of individualized therapy.
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