Canadian Charter Member Banks
Alberta: CBCF Tumor Bank
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Prairies/NWT Chapter and the Alberta Health Services Cancer Care created the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Alberta/NWT Chapter Alberta CBCF Tumor Bank. This provincial tumour bank initiative provides a comprehensive collection of cancer specimens with related clinical information that will enable researchers to address unanswered questions concerning the prognosis and treatment of breast cancer and other cancers.
The CBCF-TB is located in the Alberta Health Services Cancer Care's tertiary treatment facilities at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary. It is a multi-user resource that will be available to a wide range of cancer researchers in Alberta and elsewhere and will use and develop leading-edge tumour banking practices and promote growth in cancer research.
The CBCF-TB was created by merging existing tumour bank initiatives in both Edmonton and Calgary and by developing the new program with the financial support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Alberta/NWT Chapter. A partnership between the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Alberta Health Services Cancer Care has led to a collective initiative that will contribute to the eradication of breast cancer and other cancers by giving researchers in Alberta access to resources for vital cancer research. Beginning with the PolyomX Program funded by the Alberta Cancer Foundation at the Cross Cancer Institute and the Research Tissue Repository funded by Calgary Laboratory Services, the partnership between the CBCF-Alberta/NWT Chapter and Alberta Health Services Cancer Care has created an open access research tumour bank available to cancer researchers in Alberta and other parts of Canada.
BC Cancer Agency Tumour Tissue Repository (BCCA-TTR)
The BC Cancer Agency Tumour Tissue Repository (BCCA-TTR) was established in 2003 to collect tissues, blood, and clinical information from patient donors and a range of tumour types, under standardized consent, collection and operational protocols. These include organizational policies and a commitment to the protection of donor privacy that is embodied in all standard operating procedures and aspects of the repository. The purpose of the BCCA-TTR is to support a spectrum of cancer research, including biomarker discovery and validation.
The BCCA-TTR has evolved into a biobanking program that comprises 1) a core biobank based at the BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Island Center (TTR-VIC-core biobank), 2) an extended network of affiliated biobanks, and 3) a resource and contributor to provincial (BC BioLibrary) and national (CTRNet) programs to improve frameworks and standards for all biobanking. The core biobank accrues up to 500 cases per year.
The BCCA-TTR is principally supported by donations to the BC Cancer Foundation. The BCCA-TTR also operates with substantial and critical logistic support and collaboration from the Departments of Pathology and Surgery, Vancouver Island Health Authority.
Manitoba Tumour Bank (MTB)
The Manitoba Breast Tumor Bank (MBTB) is part of the MTB network. The mission of the Manitoba Tumour Bank (MTB) is "to improve cancer diagnosis, management and treatment through enhanced translation of cancer research." The Manitoba Tumour Bank has been in operation since 1993 and represents one of the oldest tumour banks in the country.
The MTB is an international resource with over 5000 cases (primarily breast cancers and chronic lymphocytic leukemias) and has supported over 100 research studies of which approximately 25% have been based at the University of Manitoba, 50% elsewhere in Canada, and 25% in the USA and Europe.
The MTB receives consent from up to 1000 donors per year to accrue tissue samples and associated clinical information from health care centers in Manitoba. The Bank operates with the support of the Department of Pathology, University of Manitoba, Diagnostic Services Manitoba, and CancerCare Manitoba. The bank currently holds tissue samples in breast cancer, head and neck cancer, lung cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
The operating costs of the MTB are principally supported by CancerCare Manitoba Foundation in partnership with the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The Bank has also received critical support from the National Cancer Institute of Canada, the Guardian Angels, the Jean Carter group, and Nygård International Ltd.
NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG)
The NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG) is a highly respected research group which develops, conducts and analyzes national and international multi-centre trials of cancer therapy and supportive care. Its primary mission is the demonstration of the efficacy and assessment of the relative effectiveness of treatments which can improve the care of cancer patients. Core funding for the Clinical Trials Group is from the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute. Some of this funding supports the activities of the NCIC CTG Tissue Bank with additional support coming from trial specific budgets which may include a component of funding to support correlative biological studies. The Tissue Bank is located within the department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at Queen’s University.
The Clinical Trials Group of the National Cancer Institute of Canada is the only cooperative oncology group in Canada with a national base. Over 80 institutions across the country, ranging in size from major cancer centers to community hospitals, enrol patients on CTG studies. Many of the studies conducted are international in scope and material is collected from participating centres world wide. Collections of tissue are linked to a carefully collected and validated clinical database with well described demographic information, treatment allocations, efficacy outcomes and adverse event experience.
The tissue bank has both retrospectively and prospectively collected a wide variety of tissue including fresh frozen, formalin fixed paraffin embedded diagnostic tumour tissue, whole blood, serum, plasma and urine on a number of different studies. An updated inventory and the process to be followed in applying to the biobank for material is available on the CTG external web site. All tissue received in the biobank is de-identified and a number of safequards are in place to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of the banked material is maintained. The biorepository represents an extraordinarily valuable resource to the investigator community.
OICR - Ontario Tumour Bank
The Ontario Tumour Bank is a province-wide biorepository and data bank focused on collection of tumour-related human biospecimens. It provides academic and industry cancer researchers with a diverse selection of high quality tumour-related specimens and data obtained directly by dedicated tumour bank staff, who follow a stringent set of procedures and ethical guidelines.
The biospecimens and clinical data are an important resource for scientists engaged in translational research who are developing better diagnostic tools and new drug therapies. Researchers depend on the Ontario Tumour Bank to provide research biospecimens of high quality, diversity, and integrity.
Operating at state-of-the-art hospitals and cancer centres across Ontario, the Ontario Tumour Bank coordinates the collection, storage, analysis, annotation, and distribution of tumour and peripheral blood samples. Working in collaboration with local pathologists, medical oncologists, surgeons and other hospital personnel, specially trained staff obtain patient consent, collect tissues and assemble comprehensive clinical information about each donor and the corresponding samples.
The Ontario Tumour Bank is a program of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Funded by the Government of Ontario, OICR is a not-for-profit corporation that supports research on the prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and control of cancer.
Québec: Le Réseau de recherche sur le cancer (RRCancer) du Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ)
The main goal of the RRCancer-FRSQ Network is to give Quebec researchers access to an important infrastructure which supports their desire to combine research activities allowing them to span the entire spectrum of cancer research, through fundamental discoveries, translational studies and clinical research.
Key activities are the tumour banks and the services supporting world class research in genomics and proteomics. The RRCancer-FRSQ Network has mobilized a significant number of researchers in the field of cancer who seek to maximize interactions that will have a major impact on the health of cancer patients. The interaction between specialists and the development of new therapies are activities that characterize the mission of the RRCancer-FRSQ Network.