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The Tumour Bank Network

Tumour Bank and virtual tissue banks

The five tumour banks of Cancéropôle Nord-Ouest include bone marrow aspirations, blood and/or tissue collections in various types of cancer :  malignant lymphomas, leukemias, myeloproliferative disorders, carcinomas of digestive tract, lung, breast, urogenital system, sarcomas and brain tumors. Research projects based on frozen biological samples need biological, histological and clinical associated data. The samples and the data management requires a reliable information structure. Thus, the Cancéropôle Nord-Ouest has supported the creation of a Virtual Tumour Bank, which is linked to the physical tumours banks of Amiens, Caen, Lens, Lille and Rouen, allowing a  screening of the Cancéropôle biological resources available for the multicentric projects.

Cancéropôle Nord-Ouest has networked these tumour banks, and this network now forms the basis of the tumour banks' activities in 4 areas:

  • Organisation: the tumour banks use the same computer information system, in order to
    - Optimise tumour sample management,
    - Improve the quality of clinical annotations
    - And more quickly determine the relevance and feasibility of research projects likely to use the samples.
  • The distribution of information to researchers: an electronic catalogue containing a statistical description of the samples stored in the freezers is available for consultation. Researchers can therefore plan new developments according to the availability of tumour samples and of clinical annotations.
  • The creation of databases per pathology based on the harmonisation of anatomopathological, biological and clinical data collection procedures. This facilitates the pooling of data collected in each of the four northwest regions.
  • The development of interactivity for the benefit of research teams.

The purchase of the “Virtual Tumour Bank” solution from Modul Bio enabled all of the tumour banks located within CNO's catchment area were linked up to a network. The administrative data, tissue sample data and annotations and patients' clinical and follow-up notes (survival, type of treatment, dates, response to treatment) are now standardised across the tumour banks. CNO's Virtual Tumour Bank (TVCNO) can be consulted at www.biobank-no.org and can be searched using a multicriteria function or by disease. It provides access to the biological resources available for research in all healthcare facilities in the north-west region. Harmonisation and transcoding between the tumour banks means that information is entered into TVCNO in the correct format. The catalogues are not displayed exhaustively in TVCNO, therefore an additional link has been created on the CNO website. Requests for search outputs can therefore be handled centrally, with support where needed. Administrative documents have been standardised in order to simplify procedures among the five tumour banks. The tumour banks also pooled their staff for the purposes of French Standard NF S 96-900 certification of biological resources centres. Certification of the Caen, Rouen and Lille tumour banks is planned for 2014. Collaboration between the tumour banks and CNO's genomics facilities has enabled the development of array-CGH analyses within CNO on mesothelioma, lymphoma and lung cancer and the development of molecular biology topics with clinical networks dealing with hepatocellular carcinoma and cancer of the colon. CNO's tumour banks also take part in the subject networks and clinicobiological databases selected by INCa: LYMPHOPATH, TENPATH, CONTICABASE, REFCOR, POLA, MESOBANK, MELBASE, BIOCAP, BCB GLIOBLASTOMES, FREGAT.