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Last Updated: 11/04/14

How Are caHUB Specimens Being Used in Research?

Biospecimen donors who contributed to caHUB programs including GTEx (Genotype Tissue Expression) and BPV (Biospecimen Preanalytical Variables) have supported medical research to better understand cancer and other diseases and to improve biospecimen collection practices. One of the hallmarks of the caHUB program is a thorough approach to standardizing the collection procedures for both the biospecimens and the associated data collected for the program. The high level of quality control and the extensive associated data provides a very strong foundation for the scientific investigations that utilize the biospecimens.

The GTEx project was designed to help us better understand how the genes we were born with affect the development of disease. Biospecimens were collected from over 900 deceased donors, and genetic analysis of the tissue was carried out and the data made available to qualified researchers internationally. For a project like GTEx, where hundreds of scientific investigations have been published based on the GTEx biospecimens and associated data, caHUB's rigorous approach in biospecimen and data collection adds to the strength of GTEx scientific findings. More information is available about GTEx at: https://biospecimens.cancer.gov/resources/sops/gtex.asp

The Biospecimen Preanalytical Variables (BPV) Program is a National Cancer Institute-sponsored study to systematically assess the effects of pre-analytical factors on the molecular profile of biospecimens. caHUB's robust biospecimen collection infrastructure was essential in being able to perform controlled experiments designed to better understand how to best preserve tissue and blood biospecimens for molecular profiling. The BPV collection now represents a controlled set of biospecimens and associated data with defined timepoints for delay to formalin fixation and time in formalin, different freezing methods, and different storage temperatures and durations. The BPV biospecimens and data are now being used for additional studies through collaborative research projects. The scientific knowledge gained from these investigations is being published and used to develop evidence-based practices (https://biospecimens.cancer.gov/resources/bebp.asp) to help biobanks, researchers, and hospitals collect and store specimens in the most effective way to support research and patient care. More information is available about BPV here: https://biospecimens.cancer.gov/programs/bpv/default.asp