The Organization of European Cancer Institute Pathobiology Working Group and its support of European biobanking infrastructures for translational cancer research

Peter H J Riegman, Bas W D de Jong, Antonio Llombart-Bosch
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 2010, 19 (4): 923-6

BACKGROUND: Today's translational cancer research increasingly depends on international multi-center studies. Biobanking infrastructure or comprehensive sample exchange platforms to enable networking of clinical cancer biobanks are instrumental to facilitate communication, uniform sample quality, and rules for exchange.

METHODS: The Organization of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) Pathobiology Working Group supports European biobanking infrastructure by maintaining the OECI-TuBaFrost exchange platform and organizing regular meetings. This platform originated from a European Commission project and is updated with knowledge from ongoing and new biobanking projects. This overview describes how European biobanking projects that have a large impact on clinical biobanking, including EuroBoNeT, SPIDIA, and BBMRI, contribute to the update of the OECI-TuBaFrost exchange platform.

RESULTS: Combining the results of these European projects enabled the creation of an open (upon valid registration only) catalogue view of cancer biobanks and their available samples to initiate research projects. In addition, closed environments supporting active projects could be developed together with the latest views on quality, access rules, ethics, and law.

CONCLUSIONS: With these contributions, the OECI Pathobiology Working Group contributes to and stimulates a professional attitude within biobanks at the European comprehensive cancer centers.

IMPACT: Improving the fundamentals of cancer sample exchange in Europe stimulates the performance of large multi-center studies, resulting in experiments with the desired statistical significance outcome. With this approach, future innovation in cancer patient care can be realized faster and more reliably.

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