The Pathology and Biorepository Shared Service (PBSS) at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC) has two main missions: (1) provide access to a consistently excellent quality of banked patient samples (tissue and other preparations) while maintaining patient confidentiality and (2) provide pathology, histology, and histotechnology consultation services to assist clinical investigators in the procurement, analyses, and clinicopathologic correlation of human tissue specimens. Through access to tissue specimens, investigators can perform analyses (e.g., genomic or proteomic studies) to understand the biology of normal and diseased tissues and then translate that knowledge for diagnostic and clinical applications. PBSS is the only tissue bank shared service for specimens removed at surgery at the University of Maryland-Baltimore (UMB) campus. PBSS has an integrated relationship with the Division of Anatomic Pathology of the Department of Pathology, which is essential for obtaining well-characterized tissue samples and pathology and histology expertise. In addition to the ongoing banking of all sold tumors,PBSS also provides investigator-specific tissue procurement and processing;access to more than 7,000 frozen tumor samples, of which 5,900 are paired with normal tissue from the same patient;and access to the formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) specimen archive of the Anatomic Pathology Laboratory, which consists of more than 1,260,000 FFPE tissue blocks with various pathologic diagnoses. PBSS performs searches of the frozen sample library and the surgical pathology archive for sets of specific samples, with subsequent retrieval of specimens and confirmation ofthe presence of relevant lesion/tumor by Drs. Olgaloffe or William Twaddell. The provision of clinicopathologic parameters is available upon request, depending on the specific research question. PBSS staff possess extensive experience with a wide range of techniques and specimen types. PBSS offers consultation with pathologists for protocol development and tissue evaluation;Institutional Review Board issues;technical support;and expertise for routine histological and immunohistochemical analyses of research specimens, digital image analysis, and tissue microarray construction. The success and effectiveness of PBSS is based on its ability to integrate its pathology and biorepository resources and expertise into research being conducted at UMGCC.
PBSS is an ideal combination of a tissue banking facility and surgical pathology archive with corresponding protected databases, made all the more effective by providing researchers with access to quality and well characterized human tissue and invaluable pathology and histology expertise to ensure quality of human tissue-based research at UMGCC.
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