Advice for ethics applications including FUR
HDEC committees have recently moved towards requesting all tissues that are retained for FUR at the end of a research study to be moved into a HDEC-approved tissue bank, such as the ARTB. Similarly if a collection is being generated for a unknown project, so essentially for FUR, they should be stored and governed by an approved tissue bank. If tissue will remain at the conclusion of a study that could have value for the researchers themselves or for other researchers in a different study we recommend discussing the study with the ARTB before submission of an ethics application. This early conversation allows the ARTB to aid researchers to build FUR into their ethics applications and ensures that samples are collected in a ‘bankable’ manner using the correct database tracking and storage tubes from the outset. Previous collections can be transferred into the ARTB if: appropriate consent for FUR has been provided by the donor, the samples are of value for other researchers and they have been stored appropriately during the course of the research study so that they’re not compromised.
Aside from banking samples for FUR, the ARTB also have a service role to assist with the coordination of tissues for specified research projects that run under researchers own ethical approvals. The ARTB are embedded into the DHB systems and a range of tissues can be obtained through these links, hopefully simplifying the collection process and centralising staff, maximising when samples can be collected throughout a week and across the three major city hospitals. The ARTB aims to assist researchers with their project collections and build a bank of valuable tissue at the same time. They also offer secure tissue storage and sample tracking for researchers. Centralised storage and tracking ensures human tissues to be monitored at all times and minimises risk of sample loss.