For solid tumours, routine samples are collected in a “six-pack” per operation event. A full six-pack consists of:

  1. Fresh Frozen Diseased Tissue
  2. Fresh Frozen Non-involved Tissue
  3. FFPE Disease Tissue
  4. FFPE Non-involved Tissue
  5. Pre-operative Blood sample
  6. Pre-operative Urine sample

Samples of cryopreserved blood, bone marrow or leucopheresis product from patients with a range of blood disorders are also available.

Prospective collection studies

The MCRC Biobank can accommodate prospective and tailored collections of tissue, blood and fluids for a variety of disease types. Collections from surgical patients can generally be organised directly through the Biobank, however any projects which require targeting specific non-surgical patient cohorts will often need clinical team support and facilitation.

Before submitting an application to the Biobank for any prospective collection project, please contact the Biobank to determine:

•           Whether your request can be accommodated within the current resource levels

•           Whether there are any existing studies where prospective collection for your interested cohort may already be taking place

Where the Biobank have reached either resource or project capacity in any one disease group, your project will be placed on a ‘waiting list’ and will begin once either resource becomes available, or competing projects end.

Applications for fresh tissue and other sample types, e.g. ascites/pleural fluids, or normal tissue from non-cancer patients, can also be collected prospectively for specific projects.

Tissue Microarrays

The Biobank will accept applications from researchers wishing to access tissue microarrays (TMAs), which allows simultaneous analysis of 100s of tumours at once.  Current disease areas available include prostate, bladder and lung.

The Biobank only ever collects samples from patients already in hospital for treatment. Patients will never have to make a special visit to hospital solely to donate to the MCRC Biobank.

The flowchart below shows the pathway of collection for the solid tissue collections.


The Biobank views quality sample collection as of the utmost importance. For this reason, each collaborating Trust has at least one full time Biobank Technician based on site. They are responsible for the whole process of sample collection, from gaining consent from patients, through to sample collection, processing and transport of the samples back to the Biobank. All Biobank Technicians must follow detailed operating procedures to ensure all sample collection is standardised across the region.