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Last Updated: 09/01/17

Biospecimen Research Network

Overview

The IGC Biospecimen Logistics Manager, Diana Carbone, coordinates collection and distribution of tumor specimens for the TCGA project.

NCI initiated the Biospecimen Research Network (BRN) in 2006 to systematically assess the impact of specific pre-analytical factors on the results of molecular analysis. The BRN addressed these issues by sponsoring, conducting, and collaborating on studies to assess the effects of human specimen pre-analytical factors on the outcome of genomic and proteomic studies conducted for clinical diagnosis and cancer research purposes. Integrating the information gained from such studies into the design and data analysis of research studies may improve the quality of cancer biospecimen-based research. The results of BRN research support NCI discovery efforts and contribute to the development of evidence-based best practices for the collection, processing, storage, and analysis of biospecimens, thereby building on the NCI Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources.

The BRN was designed to address the following challenges:

  • Bridge the gap between existing clinical practice for biospecimens and emerging technologies for personalized diagnostics and treatments
  • Define the most significant variables for prospective collection of tissues, blood, and bodily fluids
  • Develop evidence-based biospecimen quality indicators for specific analytical platforms

Activities of the BRN program included the following:

Ongoing activities include the Biospecimen Research Database, a searchable website of existing biospecimen literature; and ongoing consultative services on biospecimen issues for programs within the NCI and NIH.

Learn more through the BRN Fact Sheet PDF (a historical document)