Biobanks

Biobanks

biobank11-1.jpgOne thing all our researchers have in common is a need for samples of both healthy human tissue and tissue containing cancer. These tissue samples can be used to test new treatments and to investigate how cancer cells function. The key to collecting and storing samples is a biobank. A biobank is a place that stores tissue samples for future use. Many different types of samples can be stored, such as blood, pieces of tumours, spinal fluid, urine and even fingernail clippings. They are frozen or otherwise preserved. Samples from thousands of Princess Margaret patients give our doctors and researchers a wealth of tissue to work with.

Biobanks provide our scientists with the exact type of tissue they need to do their research. Each sample has a tag with details about the condition of the person who donated the sample. This information helps researchers do very specific studies. For example, if a study requires tissue samples from people with breast cancer who have had 3 months of chemotherapy, donated samples matching these requirements can be retrieved from the biobank.