It is important for patients to understand why the Biobank is needed and what will happen to their samples before any donations take place.

Below are some common questions and answers, which provide a better understanding of patient involvement. 

Q. What is the MCRC Biobank?

A. The MCRC Biobank collects tissue, blood and urine samples from cancer patients across Manchester and stores them centrally. Researchers can then access these samples and use them for their own cancer research projects.

Q. Why do we need a Cancer Biobank?

A. In recent years a lot of progress has been made in understanding cancer. However, more research needs to be done to help us understand the causes of cancer and also to discover new methods for diagnosis and treatment. It is very important that we have a large number of tissue, blood and other samples from people with cancer to allow this extra research to take place. It is also import for us to collect normal tissue from patients having surgery for other reasons so that comparisons can be made.

Q. What will happen to samples donated to the Biobank?

A. The Manchester Cancer Research Centre Biobank aims to help researchers by collecting large numbers of tissue, blood and other samples from people with many different types of cancer and normal tissue for comparison. Ethically approved research groups and also pharmaceutical companies, who make new cancer drugs and medicines, will use the samples collected. The bank will be of great benefit to clinical researchers, whose work relies on the analysis of donated human samples.

Q. Can I donate to the MCRC Biobank?

A. The Biobank have permission to work closely with doctors and their teams to identify suitable cases for sample collection. If you are eligible to donate, a Biobank Technician will come to talk to you and give you a more detailed Patient Information Sheet to read. If you then decide you would like to donate some samples to the Biobank, we will ask you to sign a form to give your consent. There is no obligation to donate to the Biobank and if you don’t want to be approached by the Biobank, please let your doctor know. This will not impact on your treatment in any way.

Q. How will my data be used?

A. Information about the people who give samples will be securely stored at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and is necessary so that we can relate what we find in our research to what happens to patients. This is because cancer is not a single disease and the way it affects individuals varies from person-to-person.
It is important to know that any personal information collected by the Biobank will not be released by the Biobank. Before any data is released for research, all personal identifiers will be removed and your data will be completely anonymous to anyone using it.

Q. What else do the Biobank do to facilitate cancer research?

A. When people have operations, their tissue is sent to a pathology department for analysis. Any leftover tissue is stored within the hospital, most of which never gets used. This is a vital cancer research resource and the Biobank can legally collect this tissue from patients who had their surgery before 1st September 2006 and put it in the Biobank so that it can be used for research. To make this resource valuable the tissue also needs to be linked to patient data. The Biobank have permission to identify suitable cases from the pathology archives and are fully trained to make sure any personal identifiable information is stored securely and anonymised before it is released for research.

For more details about the use of patient samples, please click here

Q. Will anybody make a profit from the tissue collected?

A. The MCRC Biobank will not benefit financially from supplying samples to researchers, although we may make a charge to cover the time and materials required to process and store the samples.