The objectives are to provide users of the Collaborative Human Tissue Network (CHTN) with high quality human tissue and biofluid samples in accordance with NCI Best Practices for biorepositories. Staffing, procedures &infrastructure are in place to minimize procurement times. Tissue samples are quality controlled by histologic examination, with molecular assessment included in a quality assurance program. Specimen procurement at The University of Virginia will be augmented by collection at Eastern Virginia Medical School and the Medical University of South Carolina. Private health information is handled in accordance with Common Rule and HIPAA regulations. To protect subject privacy, all samples are identified only by a code number ("de-identified") and linking codes are maintained in secure databases. Procured tissue specimens are made available in fresh-frozen, chemically-fixed, paraffin-embedded and viable form. Options for viable tissue include frozen cell suspensions of disaggregated solid tissue, small tissue fragments, and viable cells obtained from ascites fluid. In addition to paraffin embedding, histologic sections of paraffn embedded or frozen tissue are offered. Histology-guided macrodissection services are available to investigators who require enriched cell populations. Nucleic acid extraction (RNA and DNA) are offered for both bulk and macrodissected tissue samples. The CHTN tissue microarray (TMA) initiative, currently based in our institution, will continue to be supported and will be expanded. Our ability to provide annotated data is enhanced by integration with a digital Clinical Data Repository at The University of Virginia and with an established tumor registry. During the grant period members of our division will cooperate to integrate local informatic resources with centralized CHTN informatic resources, and to achieve compliance with NCI-mandated bioinformatic standards. Members of our division will support the overall efforts of the CHTN by participating in coordinating meetings and in marketing efforts at scientific meetings. Improvement of the CHTN will be provided by participating in organizational quality management practices and offering leadership in integrating new technological and bio-informatic advances.
Most human disease, especially cancer, is based in abnormalities of tissues. The University of Virginia will support the Collaborative Human Tissue Network in giving high quality human tissue specimens and biofluids (blood, urine, etc.) to scientists to help them understand the causes of disease, to create new diagnostic tests for disease and to create new therapies for disease, with an emphasis on cancer.