The Biobank coordinates the collection, storage and distribution of a large variety of specimens including blood, saliva containing cheek cells, bone marrow, cerebral spinal fluid and post-operative solid tumour specimens.
Samples are collected at different stages of patient care. This is routinely done to aid in a patient’s diagnosis prior to treatment, during the course of treatment to monitor progress, or after treatment to determine outcome.
Dr Louise Ludlow (Biobank Coordinator) processing a blood sample.
This flow chart outlines how the specimens are used
The majority of samples are collected during clinical care including diagnostic procedures. Some additional samples, specifically for research purposes, may also be collected at the same time as clinical sampling (pending appropriate consent).
Samples will be processed for storage in the Biobank and may be accessed if required for further clinical testing. It is important that priority is given to using these samples for any further clinical tests that are needed.
Pending appropriate consent, samples may also be used as part of ongoing research studies, such as a clinical trial aimed at testing new cancer treatments. In this case, families will be provided with full information about the research and invited to participate in a separate consent process.
In the event that samples exist in excess of what is needed for ongoing clinical purposes, they may be used for scientifically and ethically approved research studies (both local and international). Samples will only be provided to scientists who have made a formal application to the Biobank. All applications will undergo thorough scientific review by the Biobank Access and Oversight Committee.
No samples needed for ongoing clinical care will be used for research purposes.
Your decision to give permission for sample(s) and information to be kept in the Biobank, will not affect any treatment or care you receive in The RCH.
Samples are stored in a secure environment in the vapour phase of liquid nitrogen at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.
Elena Fernandez (Tissue Bank Research Assistant) processing a bone marrow specimen.