Why Biobank? A recent article was published explaining why there are many names scientists often suggest as an alternative to the word “biobank.” In his article, Biobanks: Why All the Names, Robert Hewitt wrote that biobanks are not meeting the expectations of patients, researchers and the society as a whole1.
Reasons for Dr. Hewitt’s perception are indicated as such. Retrospectively collected biospecimens, which exist in most biobanks, may not meet the requirements of the studies of the researchers. Additionally, the consent forms patients sign for the use of their biospecimens may not cover the proposed research. Finally, a highly selective review process can delay the release of biospecimens from the biobank.
A different author, Dominic Allen, once wrote biobanks should collect biospecimens prospectively in a trusted collection of networks2 to overcome some of these limitations. Fortunately, the Cooperative Human Tissue Network’s (CHTN) founders had the foresight... Read more
Over the last five years the CHTN provided 235,710 biospecimens to approved researchers throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as a few internationally. In 2016, the CHTN provided 433 IRB reviewed researchers 49,832 quality samples from consented surgical remnant tissues. 72% of the specimens provided were by the researchers primary CHTN division while the remaining 28% of specimens were provided by the CHTN consortium of medical centers.
Special collections are available from some divisions. The Mid-Atlantic Division has an assortment of available tissue microarrays (TMAs). The Pediatric Division can provides samples from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and the Eastern, Midwestern, Southern, and Western Divisions add geographic and ethnic diversity to the samples provided.
All CHTN divisions work within the CHTN consortium and network investigator biospecimen requests if agreeable to the investigator to the other CHTN divisions. All Divisions participate to... Read more
June 23, 2017 at 10AM EDTSponsored by the NIH Data Science Special Interest GroupNational Library of Medicine
The NIH Data Science Special Interest Group is proud to host the webinar Global Perspective on Biobanking and Access to Samples on Friday June 23, 2017 at 10 am EDT. Biobanking leaders from around the world will discuss the challenges and obstacles in sharing and accessing samples and their associated data. The discussion will also address samples that are scarce and how to overcome challenges associated with obtaining these samples. The online audience will be able to send questions directly to the panelists through the GoToWebinar interface. We hope the webinar will facilitate further discussion on these issues and generate new ideas for possible solution and collaboration.Panelists include:
Jonathan Pevsner, Professor, at the Dept. of Neurology, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Medicine. Presentation:... Read more
Researchers have long considered the NCI supported Cooperative Human Tissue Network (CHTN) as a source for quality collection and preservation of tissue samples from remnant surgical tissue specimens. In an organized tissue procurement setting serving a large population of researchers, the trained procurement personnel, specialized reagents and monitoried frozen storage facilities assure the availability of quality research, monitored preservation techniques and temperature controlled shipping required for successful research support.
The CHTN Midwestern Division (MWD) has experienced an increase in investigator demand for fresh tissues over the past two years. Approximately 23% of the tissues distributed by the CHTN MWD is fresh tissue. Requests for frozen and formlin-fixed paraffin embedded tissues, however, remain constant and stable. The increased interest in fresh tissue likely reflects an increased focus on the study of vital cells in controlled environments for... Read more
The CHTN takes note that human tissue samples continue to play a major role in cancer research. One of the latest national cancer research efforts takes the form of the so called “Cancer Moonshot” program that has been organized by the office of Vice-President Joe Biden. While the CHTN itself has not been tapped for this effort, some of the CHTN Principal Investigators have been involved in information-gathering and organizational efforts for this program. One subprogram of the Cancer Moonshot has been thematically termed the Applied Proteogenomics Organizational Learning and Outcomes (APOLLO) consortium. APOLLO will build on the enormously successful The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC). These previous programs have provided open access to raw genomic and proteomic data to cancer researchers that have been useful in both discovery research by data mining and validation of laboratory molecular findings in a larger dataset. Some... Read more