Feb 2010 Bulletin du cancer

[Publication of biological samples collections catalogues by tumor banks].


Chabannon C, Honstettre A, Daufresne LM, Martin PM, Bonnetaud C, Birtwisle-Peyrottes I, Romain S, Achache K, Mery O, Bordonne O, Ducord C, Jacotot L, Vaglio P, d'Arnoux C, Figarella-Branger D, Hofman P, Borg JP, Atger V


Biobanks in general, and specifically tumour banks, are considered as essential tools for the development of translational and clinical research in biology and oncology. Biobank tasks include the collection and preservation of biological samples, and their association with information that will be essential for further scientific use (« annotations » that allow for the « qualification » of biological samples in biological resource). A collection is made of a series of biological resource that are representative of a homogeneous group of individuals or patients that are defined on the basis of clinical or biological information. Collections are used by scientists that are aware of their existence. In the absence of a published catalogue, this awareness is most often limited to research teams that are geographically close, or to investigators who already established collaborative projects with medical teams within the hospital that operates the tumour bank. Publications of catalogues, especially digitalized and online catalogues, should foster the development of high-level, large-scale and multicentric scientific projects. In addition, tumour banks will formalize rules that allow publication of collections, and upstream, rules that are used to qualify biological samples in biological resource: this should translate in an improved overall quality of samples and annotations. Tumour bank catalogues remain relatively few; however, some recent achievements established the « proof of concept » and already raise questions regarding rules for publication. It will be important to demonstrate that these high expectations translate into measurable benefits.

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