Biospecimens are often collected from consenting patients and stored in biobanks for future, unspecified research purposes.

Tissue may be collected from consenting patients during biopsy, fine-needle aspirate procedures or surgery. The tissue may be processed and stored as formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded blocks or slides; as fresh-frozen material ('snap frozen' in liquid nitrogen); or stored using other preservation methods.

Peripheral blood may be collected from consenting patients and processed for recovery of components including serum, plasma, buffy coat and other derivatives.

Biospecimens are stored at hospital sites or at dedicated biobanking facilities in Australia or overseas. For our studies, biospecimens collected from patients are linked to the patient's clinical data collected during the clinical trial. This is usually detailed clinical information including clinical outcome data, such as overall survival, and occurrence of clinical events being studied.  Data from laboratory studies on the biospecimens, combined with the clinical trial data, provides an invaluable resource for translational research.

T1 studies (integrated laboratory and clinical research) must have the approval of a human research ethics committee.

Access to biospecimens

Access to biospecimens for research purposes is by application to:

  • the specific Trial Management Committee and
  • the Trials Group (eg Collaborative Trials Groups in the area of oncology).