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Biobanking

Biorepositories 101 and the Cure for Cancer

An Introduction to Biorepositories

Biorepositories play a huge role in cancer research and they maintain the collection of biomaterials that cover disease targets, such as oncology, dermatology, neurology, immunology, infectious diseases, autoimmune and metabolic disorders.

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Exploring the World’s Largest Biobanks

There are currently more than 120 biobanks worldwide. While most focus on genomic research and personalised medicine, biobanks range in size. Small operations have just a few freezers which are kept in a researcher’s laboratory, a clinical laboratory, or a pathology suite, while the larger, commercial ones support large clinical and epidemiological suites. In addition, the storage of samples tends to vary:

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How Human Tissue Samples are Shaping Cancer Therapy

Cancer Therapy

Thanks to advancements in human tissue sample procedures, we have been able to make major breakthroughs in cancer research. In the twenty-first century, epidemiological and clinical evidence have supported the claim that changes in metabolism can affect oncogenesis and tumour response to therapy.

It has been observed that metabolic conditions such as hyperglycemia, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and insulin resistance are directly associated with increased risk of cancer development as well as the acceleration of tumour progression. These findings indicate that statins and metformin may help decrease cancer-related deaths.

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Are smaller biobanks still relevant in the era of 500,000 plus cohorts?

Shona Kerr, MRC Human Genetics Unit, writes:

Large-scale national cohorts and biobanks, linked to detailed genomic, phenotypic and clinical data, are currently being created and developed through investment from a large number of governments worldwide. These data-rich resources are exemplified by the 500,000 research volunteers in the UK Biobank, a cohort established primarily to investigate the genetic and lifestyle determinants of middle and later life diseases. Now it is accessible by all health researchers worldwide and the UK Biobank is supporting an unprecedented range of novel insights into the biology of disease, from varicose veins to lifespan.

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