The specific aims of this application are 1) to collect, process, and distribute human tissue samples from six institutions (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, St. Thomas Hospital, Meharry Medical College and Baptist Hospital in Nashville, TN, and Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, TN, University of Louisville in Kentucky) to qualified researchers on a prospective basis;2) to collect and bank pre-neoplastic lesions to facilitate basic research in tumor progression;3) to provide macrodissection services;4) to provide a DNA/RNA isolation service;5) to perform quality control on all tissues harvested to ensure tissue quality and appropriateness;6) to protect patient confidentiality by developing and implementing improved approaches to obtain explicit informed consent for use of extraneous tissue for research and through de-identification of specimens, or through anonymization of specimens if informed consent is waived;7) to provide investigators with de-identified demographic and clinical data linked to samples, when appropriate consent has been obtained;8) to develop an informatics platform for specimen tracking and for extraction and transmission of de-identified data relating to specimens of interest;9) to develop and participate in marketing strategies for the CHTN. By including three private institutions and two additional academic institutions, a large number of specimens will be captured that would not otherwise be unavailable for research. The goal in the previous informatics strategy was to establish a secure, web-enabled format for networking of tissue procurement and requests. We have completed that task and the software product, TissueQuest, has been the sole shared networking module in use by the CHTN divisions since May 2007. We have now turned our attention to designing DonorQuest, our internal donor database which will be scaleable and used across our participating institutions. It will be flexible enough to maintain compliance with changes in government regulations relating to use of human tissue in research. Finally, it is designed to accommodate new research technologies that demand more structured information to develop meaningful hypotheses from experiments with human tissues. Relevance: The goals of this application are highly relevant to furthering research in cancer and other diseases. By providing high quality well-annotated human tissue biospecimens in a cost-effective manner, CHTN-Western will facilitate research that will increase our knowledge of the pathobiology of human diseases and which may eventually have a significant impact on individual patient care and public health.
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