Biobanks play an integral role in many state-of-the-art Hospitals and Cancer Centres across the world, and are useful resources for researchers. Within the Biobank environment, we collect, process, and store donated patient tissue samples which are then made available for distribution to researchers with various ethically approved research projects.
The samples collected may be in the form of solid tumours (e.g. lymphoma or breast cancer), bone marrow or blood (e.g. leukaemia, myeloma) as part of routine biopsies or blood tests.
Trained staff will provide the patient with detailed information regarding the Biobank and obtain informed consent in order to store donated tissue samples within the facility. These technicians will then collect and process the samples as well as record some key information. The samples are then de-identified, clinical information of each donor and the corresponding samples is then stored in a secure database.
The donated patient samples and associated clinical data act as important resources for scientists engaged in molecular research in order to develop better diagnostic tools and new drug therapies. Success stories in the field of molecular research have recently included the development of targeted therapies such as Imatinib (also known as Glivec, for chronic myeloid leukaemia) and Rituximab (also known as MabThera, for lymphoma) which have greatly improved the outcomes for patients with these conditions.
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