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Children’s Cancer Centre Biobank

Research project

The Children’s Cancer Centre Biobank is a valuable collection of biological samples such as tissue collected during surgery, blood and bone marrow. These samples are linked to health information contained in hospital medical records. Health information used may include age, gender and information about test results and medical care. 

Samples and health information in the Biobank are given to scientists in Australia and around the world. Researchers rely on these types of samples and health information to make research discoveries and medical breakthroughs. They hope to find new ways to better prevent, detect and treat different conditions. Our Biobank includes samples and health information from people with cancer, bone marrow disorders, primary immunodeficiency disease and neurofibromatosis. It also includes samples and health information from their siblings, parents and relatives.

The CCC Biobank is one of only five paediatric tumour tissue banks in Australia. As the largest centre for the treatment of paediatric cancers in Australia, the campus embodies an exciting opportunity to access rare solid and liquid tumours (such as leukaemia) from paediatric patients during the course of treatment. 

The collection of tumour specimens from patients into a highly regulated Biobank is an important aspect of the core business of the Children's Cancer Centre. Our goal is to provide the best care possible for current and future patients and the Biobank is an essential component of this mandate.  The CCC Biobank enables clinicians to offer patients participation in international clinical trials.  This is achieved by providing tissue, blood and bone marrow processing to facilitate these research efforts.  

The Children’s Cancer Centre Biobank was established by and is proudly supported by the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation and Cancer in Kids @ RCH (www.cika.org.au). Funds to process blood and bone marrow from patients with leukaemia were provided by the Leukaemia Auxiliary at RCH (LARCH). Funding provided by the Children’s Cancer Foundation and My Room from 2007 to 2013 for the Children's Cancer Tumour Bank supported the collection and storage of tissue samples, providing the core collection for today’s Biobank.

Why is tissue needed for research?

While survival rates from childhood and AYA cancers have improved, research is needed to understand how the disease develops and to investigate the best ways to treat, cure and ultimately prevent the disease from occurring.     

This research relies on using tissue samples removed from patients in the operating theatre or in the clinic during the course of clinical investigation and treatment.  Unfortunately, researchers are extremely limited in the application of their research to paediatric and AYA cancer due to the lack of high quality samples. 

Our Biobank provides these valuable samples for national and international research projects.  Without these samples researchers cannot make a difference to improving the outcomes for children and AYA with cancer.

Samples allow researchers to:

  • Understand the molecular mechanisms which lead to cancers in children and AYA

  • Establish new molecular-based diagnostic tests which will assist with the selection of the most appropriate treatments

  • Investigate tumour biology using cell lines

  • Test new drugs and therapies before use in the clinic

  • Identify new targets for therapy

  • Reduce the debilitating side effects of treatment

Donations are a way to make a difference to the fight against cancer now and well into the future as new technologies and advancements become available.

Member of ANZCHOG-BN

The CCC Biobank is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Childrens Heamatology/Oncology Group - Biobanking Network (www.anzchog.org/clinical-trials-research/anzchog-biobanking-network/).  

The Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology/Oncology Group Biobanking Network.  BIOPRESERVATION AND BIOBANKING.  Volume 17, Number 2, 2019.