Charter Member Banks
Alberta Cancer Research Biobank (ACRB)
The Alberta Cancer Research Biobank (ACRB) facilitates progress in cancer research, prevention, treatment and care by offering human biospecimen products and related services to the Alberta cancer research community as well as national and international researchers. In addition to the collection of tissue, blood and clinical information from cancer participants for the Open Access sample collection, the ACRB also offers Bioprocessing and Biostorage services.
Comprehensive Tumour Banking Alberta began in 2001 and has since grown to the ACRB, which is a consortium of the CBCF Tumour Bank, the Tomorrow Project and Population Health Research. Currently blood samples from 15,000 participants and frozen tissue from 12,000 participants are available from the Open Access sample collection.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation currently supports the ACRB.
BC Cancer Agency Tumour Tissue Repository (BCCA-TTR)
The 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 2) an extended network of affiliated biobanks, and 3) a resource and contributor to the UBC Office of Biobank Education and Research and the 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 operating funds from BC Cancer Agency and 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 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 6000 cases (primarily breast cancers and chronic lymphocytic leukemias, but also has early collections of some other leukemias, lung cancers, head and neck cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma) and has supported hundreds of research studies of which approximately 60% have been based at the University of Manitoba, 25% elsewhere in Canada, and 15% in the USA and Europe.
The MTB receives consent from up to 1000 donors per year to accrue biological samples and associated clinical information from health care centers in Manitoba. The Bank operates with the support of the University of Manitoba, Department of Pathology, Diagnostic Services Manitoba, and CancerCare Manitoba.
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) and collection of a nominal fee for service. The Bank has also received critical support from the National Cancer Institute of Canada, the Guardian Angels, the Jean Carter group, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation 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
For over 10 years, the Ontario Tumour Bank (OTB) has been supporting researchers from both the academic and commercial sectors, in Ontario and worldwide. OTB provides cancer researchers with a diverse selection of high-quality tumour-related human biospecimens and derivatives, comprehensively annotated with de-identified clinical information. In addition to primary samples, OTB provides customized services such as tissue microarray construction and nucleic acid extraction.
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. OTB’s accomplishments include contributions to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) which has resulted in several high-impact publications in Nature. 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, OTB 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 dedicated tumour bank staff obtain patient consent, collect tissues and assemble comprehensive clinical information about each donor and the corresponding samples. A unique governance model ensures that OTB meets the highest scientific and ethical standards.
The Ontario Tumour Bank is a program of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). OICR is an innovative cancer research and development institute dedicated to prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation, supported by the Government of Ontario.
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-FRQS 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-FRQS 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.