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Last Updated: 07/28/14

International Biorepositories Symposium

The NCI Symposium: International Harmonization of Biorepository Practices, held November 10, 2005 in Washington, D.C., convened a group of more than 80 biorepository experts from 15 countries in North America, Europe and Asia to share information about international biorepository efforts. Through a series of plenary and roundtable sessions, the participants addressed a range of scientific, technical, ethical, legal and policy issues affecting biorepositories.

Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, former director of the NCI, spoke of the critical role of biorepositories in advancing 21st century genomics- and proteomics-based research into the molecular underpinnings of disease. Chairing the symposium, Dr. Anna Barker, Deputy Director of NCI, noted the tremendous human and economic burden of cancer that faces all the countries represented, and the urgency of the task to apply a systematic, standardized approach to the collection, processing, and dissemination of biospecimens for cancer research.

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Symposium participants committed to the formation of an International Biorepository Working Group to enhance biorepositories on a global scale, to develop and share biorepository standards and best practices, and to foster international research collaborations.