Quality Criteria in Oncology: Lessons learned from the B4MED Biobank
- Pp. 68-80 (13)Giancarlo Pruneri and Giuseppina Bonizzi
Since the beginning, the scientific research was an integral part of the mission of the European Oncology Institute (IEO). Its position is at the intersection between Surgical Units, the Department of Pathology and Research Units. This organization makes the IEO Biobank for Translational Medicine (B4MED) a critical resource that reflects the mission of IEO to perform “Research for Care”. The B4MED collects, catalogues and stores biological samples that are non-essential for diagnostic purposes from patients who provide informed consent for the use of their tissues for research purposes. A direct pipeline with the operating theatres for the collection of tissue samples ensures negligible sample degradation. Surgically-excised pathological and non-pathological tissue samples, plasma/serum, total blood, DNA and RNA are collected and stored according to specific protocols and standard operating procedures. All biobanked samples are managed and tracked through a software package that is fully integrated with the hospital medical records database, pathology database and central registry of patient demographic information. This ensures that each sample is linked to a full complement of anonymous or anonymized (according to patient choice) patient information that is accessible solely by authorized Biobank personnel. The high quality biospecimens collected by the B4MED are used for biomarker and drug discovery experiments, both for basic research and for clinical research, with the ultimate aim of providing excellence in patient care through excellence in research.