The Biospecimen Shared Resource (BSR), led by Andrew K. Godwin, PhD, plays a vital role at The University of Kansas Cancer Center by its ethical collection, storage, annotation and distribution of high-quality biospecimens, which are essential to support translational research and investigator-initiated studies. This essential shared resource to The University of Kansas Cancer Center, which is housed in the Biospecimen Repository Core Facility (BRCF), holds over 11,000 tissues and more than 30,000 blood samples.
The BSR has 5 aims:
- Provide centralized and uniform collection, processing and storage (using standard operating procedures) of tissue and fluids. The BSR identifies participants, obtains informed consent, collects tissue, blood, urine and/or saliva samples from selected populations and obtains information on personal and family histories of cancer, clinical intervention and lifestyle factors for use in research.
- Biospecimen repository support of investigator-initiated clinical studies.
- Provide expert histology support and pathological evaluations of tissue samples.
- Develop a de-identified database of clinical information relevant to the samples. The BSR will continue to obtain supporting data from the clinical record of each participant to better annotate samples and support clinical research.
- Provide biospecimens to The University of Kansas Cancer Center members to examine relevant properties at the molecular, cellular and tissue level.
The BSR is fully equipped for biospecimen collection, processing and distribution, and thus, the BSR adheres to the NCI best practices for biospecimen resources and has developed standard operating procedures to govern these processes. The BSR supports cancer center investigators who recruit specialized cohorts, including rural, underserved communities in the catchment area. All specimens are linked to comprehensive clinical databases supported by the Biostatistics and Informatics Shared Resource.
As health systems become more patient-centric, biobanks like the BSR play an important role in improving healthcare. Participants are essential to discoveries. –Andrew Godwin, PhDDirector of Biospecimen Shared Resource
Andrew K. Godwin, PhD, Biospecimen director
Rashna Madan, MBBS, FCAP, FASCP, Biospecimen assistant director
Triple-negative breast cancer study helps researchers better understand patient community
BSR collaborated on a triple-negative breast cancer study designed to secure a detailed landscape of the disease. This study implemented a registry to gather more clinical information and accompanying biospecimen (blood and/or tumor) samples from patients with this type of cancer. Institutions and investigators often collect blood samples from patients; however, most don’t collect both blood and tumor specimens, along with well-characterized clinical information and prospective follow-up.
The registry captured data from multiple institutions in a variety of settings. The broad patient population gives researchers a panoramic view of the disease. The registry, including information from approximately 900 patients, provided data needed to develop scientific questions that are clinically meaningful to patients and researchers. In turn, this helped inform the design of future triple-negative breast cancer treatment option clinical trials. Two grants and 14 high-impact publications have come out of accessing information and samples from this registry.
Cite the cancer center support grant
This resource is funded by The University of Kansas Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) awarded by the National Cancer Institute (P30 CA168524). Publications that have utilized facility resources, services or scientific data generated by the resource should acknowledge the resource and cite the NCI CCSG grant.
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