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Biobanking metastases and biopsy specimens for personalized medicine

Authors Liu A, Collins C, Diemer S

Received 18 March 2015

Accepted for publication 11 August 2015

Published 7 October 2015 Volume 2015:3(1) Pages 57—67


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Editor who approved publication: Dr Martin Bluth

Angen Liu, Charles C Collins, Stephanie M Diemer

Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Abstract: Metastasis often develops in cancer patients despite improvements in surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Biopsy specimens of metastatic lesions are extremely valuable materials for monitoring disease progression, assessing therapeutic outcome, and delivering personalized medicine. Biobanking high-quality human metastases and biopsy tissue specimens, derivatives, liquid biopsy specimens, and associated patient clinical information provides a fundamental scientific infrastructure for personalized medicine. Biomarkers specifically associated with an individual tumor have a very significant impact on personalized therapy. Therefore, the availability of a large collection of metastases and biopsy specimens from cancer patients with well-annotated patient clinical and pathological data is a critical requirement for personalized medicine. While current efforts have been made to develop cancer biorepositories around the world for personalized medicine, the majority of biospecimens in these biorepositories are primary tumor samples. The procurement, processing, and storage of human metastases and biopsy specimens remain challenging, since metastatic tumors are almost incurable and most are not the object of surgical resection. Thus, biobanking metastases and biopsy specimens provides a unique role to facilitate the molecular analysis of metastatic tumors, and the identification and validation of therapeutic targets and the discovery and validation of biomarkers that are associated with personalized treatment. This review provides an overview of the development of a metastases and biopsy specimens biobank, analyzes the challenges, and discusses the specific needs regarding this distinct type of biobank development for advancement of personalized medicine.

Keywords: cancer, biospecimen, biorepository, pathology, liquid biopsy, clinical trial

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