About University of Arizona Biorepository

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona Biorepository is responsible for collecting, storing, tracking, processing, and distributing human tissue, blood, and other biospecimens. The Biorepository's mission is to provide high-quality, clinically annotated specimens and superior service to the University of Arizona research community as well as to other institutions and industry involved in biomedical research.

The purpose of the bank is to collect and store samples of (tissue, blood, and/or other biologic specimens), along with health/medical information for research purposes. Researchers can then use the stored materials for future research studies to learn more about cancer, diabetes, and other health problems. The bank will provide a ready supply of samples, so researchers do not have to look for donors for each new study.

The Biorepository receives, evaluates, processes and cryopreserves (i.e., banks) specimens obtained from UAMC clinics, laboratories and surgical suites during normal business hours, as well as from individual investigators both inside and outside of the university. Biospecimens are processed for long term storage, per individual SOPs provided by the investigator or by the facility. All samples are stored according to industry best practices, in temperature-controlled, monitored, and alarmed environments in LN2 or other freezers as appropriate to maximize resource integrity utilizing cGTP practices whenever possible.

Collaborating investigators who are interested in utilizing specimens from the biorepository will submit a specific proposal to the Biorepository Advisory Committee, stating the specific objectives of the study, preliminary data supporting the hypothesis (scientific rationale), the research plan, expected outcomes, and funding source. IRB compliance is required for most applications. The approved application form is routed through the biorepository, which prepares specimens that meet the investigator's criteria on a fee-for-service basis.

Investigators wishing to obtain samples from the biorepository may first inquire from the website if such samples exist in the biorepository before making a formal application (at no charge). If such samples do exist then the investigator must complete the online forms available on the website, including approval from the IRB for research with human biospecimens. Generally, one should know if samples are available in less than a week while one should be able to obtain samples in as little as one month's time.

About University of Arizona Cancer Center and Associated Biorepositories

University of Arizona Cancer Center

The AZCC Biorepository is managed by TACMASR (Tissue Acquisition and Cellular/Molecular Biology Shared Resource), which is responsible for the collection and banking of biospecimens from consented UACC patients who are undergoing surgical procedures at the Banner-University Medical Center (BUMC). Biospecimens from the following organ systems are currently being banked: gynecologic, breast, prostate, endocrine, lung and GI. The Biospecimen Oversight Committee is responsible for the overall management and utilization of repository material. Preparation of specimens for use by UACC investigators and their collaborators is handled as a routine request through TACMASR, and is charged accordingly.

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The Cancer Prevention & Control (CPC) Biorepository collected and archived biospecimens from routine screening colonoscopies and a variety of prevention-related studies. Annotated dysplastic and normal specimens are present in the Biorepository. When requesting biospecimens, it is recommended to either design a small feasibility (pilot) study to demonstrate measurement precision, sensitivity and reproducibility or provide such data to support the actual conduct of the proposed project and avert biospecimen loss. The specific aims of the Colon Cancer Prevention Program Project Grant (CCPP) and previously approved projects have priority for CCPP biospecimens. If the project request is approved, the requestor must obtain and provide a signed copy of the IRB approval (or exception) document, a copy of HIPAA approval (or exception) document and a letter of agreement for the transfer of material(s). ALL unused biospecimen material must be destroyed or returned to the CPC Biorepository. The Colon Cancer Prevention Program Project Grant (NCI/NIH P01 CA41105) must be acknowledged in any publications and all reprints must be provided to the CPC Biorepository. The three colon cancer prevention studies have ended. Please contact TACMASR regarding the process for requesting access to these samples.

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The GI SPORE Biorepository collected and archived tissue and blood biospecimens from routine GI-related surgical procedures. Annotated tumor and non-tumor specimens are present in the Biorepository. Biospecimen requests are reviewed by the GI SPORE Steering Committee. When requesting biospecimens, it is recommended to either design a small feasibility (pilot) study to demonstrate measurement precision, sensitivity and reproducibility or provide such data to support the actual conduct of the proposed project and avert biospecimen loss. The specific aims of the GI SPORE grant and previously approved projects have priority for GI SPORE biospecimens. If the project request is approved, the requestor must obtain and provide a signed copy of the IRB approval (or exception) document, a copy of HIPAA approval (or exception) document and a letter of agreement for the transfer of material(s). ALL unused biospecimen material must be destroyed or returned to the GI SPORE Biorepository. The University of Arizona GI SPORE (P50 CA95060) must be acknowledged in any publications and all reprints must be provided to the GI SPORE Biorepository. This grant ran from 2002 and closed in 2014. Collection of GI specimens continues under the UACC Biorepository's consent process. Please contact TACMASR regarding the process for requesting access to these samples.

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The Skin Biorepository consists of specimens from the Skin Cancer Institute Patient Registry and Tissue Bank (SCPR-TB) and the Skin Cancer Prevention Program Biorepository (SCPP-BR). The SCPR-TB collects annotated biological specimens from patients with non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC), malignant melanomas, and pre-malignant lesions. The SCPP-BR contains specimens from skin cancer prevention studies. Any study seeking access to tissue or information in the Skin Biorepository must have approval from the UA Institutional Review Board and the respective committees (SCPR-TB or SCPP-BR). The specific aims of the SCPP-BR and previously approved projects have priority for the specimens.

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The Arizona Lymphoma Repository collects and banks specimens from tissue and blood acquired from patients with hematopoietic malignancies, mainly lymphoma, treated at the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Tumor and non-tumor specimens are present in the repository.

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The Neurosurgery Biorepository collects and banks brain tissue specimens and blood from patients for the purpose of studying potentials biomarkers (e.g. Nagalase) for brain tumors.

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The Prostate Biorepository consists of data and specimens collected from the following: 1) Survivorship Prostate Project - a group of patients operated on by the same surgeon and analyzed by the same pathologist, 2) Prospective Patient Project - a group of patients followed by the same urologist and 3) Prostate Cancer Prevention Program (PCPP) - three patient groups enrolled on prior prostate cancer prevention studies including watchful waiting patients, pre-prostatectomy patients, and patients at high risk for prostate cancer diagnosis. Any study seeking access to tissue or information in the Prostate Biorepository must have approval from the UA Institutional Review Board and the respective committees.