As research and technology advance at a rapid pace, the tools we use to support these developments must also progress. One of the most critical tools in cancer research is biobanks.
Biobanks are a collection of data as well as blood and tissue samples gathered for the purpose of research. These specimens are donated by participating patients and have no factor on the patient's healthcare. Patients receive informed consent in order to donate and their identifiers are removed to protect privacy.
One of MCA's long-term goals is to create a regionally supported biobank where participating members contribute specimens from their patients. A regional biobank increases the numbers and types of specimens available for research and enhances The University of Kansas Cancer Center's candidacy for the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) comprehensive cancer center designation. Just as KU Cancer Center's original NCI-designation created more opportunities in cancer research and care for MCA members and their patients in the Heartland, comprehensive designation will further expand those resources.
Next Step...Comprehensive Cancer Center Designation
The key component of this designation is to expand on the practices already established so that more patients across a wider area can be served. By collecting more biospecimens, the opportunities for research expands because having a variety of specimens allows more studies to be possible. In other words, the more samples a researcher has at their disposal, the more extensive their research will be. This type of collaboration helps distinguish the work being done in the Heartland and is the type of region-wide effort NCI is looking for in a comprehensive cancer center.