The biobank was established in 2001 to manage sample acquisition, processing, storage and distribution for the Department of Defense (DoD) funded Clinical Breast Care Project (CBCP). Over the years, the biobank’s involvement with the DoD has expanded and now covers DoD programs such as the Murtha Cancer Center Biobank (MCCB) at Bethesda, MD, and the Center for Prostate Disease Research (CPDR). An independent biobanking protocol enables the collection and distribution of a variety of quality research specimens and distribution is through a sub-contracting relationship with the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cooperative Human Tissue Network (CHTN), Eastern Zone and BioServe’s Global Biorepository Distribution Network. The biobank supports other research programs within the DoD, including the Applied Proteogenomics Organizational Learning and Outcomes (APOLLO) project, a collaborative effort between DoD, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and NCI. For APOLLO, the biobank is involved in the management of all APOLLO biospecimens from the different Military Treatment Facilities. These activities include sample receiving, storage, slide imaging for remote pathology review and annotation, nucleic acid extraction and quantitation. The biobank also manages sample qualification, processing and shipment to the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN) which partners with MCCB on a long-term health surveillance project involving more than 10 other cancer centers in the United States.

The quality standard of the biobank is enhanced by its accreditation by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and certification by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) with a commitment to promoting reliable molecular research by providing high quality biospecimens to the scientific community.

The biobank’s inventory serves the research needs of the different sponsored programs operational within the institute. Some of the inventory is however available for distribution to external scientists and includes serum, plasma, DNA, RNA, PAXgene Blood RNA and a variety of tissue types (breast, heart, kidney, lung, colon, and lymph node, etc.) representing diseased and non-diseased populations processed as flash frozen, OCT embedded and paraffin embedded.

The services offered include:

  • Sample processing
    • DNA and RNA extractions
    • Histology processing and imaging
    • Laser Microdissection
    • Florescence in situ hybridization (FISH)
  • Sample storage
    • Long term/short term storage
      • Storage conditions available: -80° C, liquid nitrogen, room temperature
  • Sample collection and distribution for research:
    • Retrospective collections available for distribution include:
      • Serum, plasma
      • Blood clots for genomic DNA isolation
      • Solid tissues (disease/normal) from a variety of organ types and in the following formats
        • OCT embedded
        • Flash frozen
        • Formalin fixed, paraffin embedded
    • Customized Prospective collections
  • Consulting services
    • Development of Study Protocol
    • Planning and execution of tissue procurement
    • Design and development of collection and processing standard operating procedures
    • Customized tissue and data collection