Biobanking refers to the process by which samples of bodily fluid or tissue are collected for research use to improve our understanding of health and disease. HaemBio is a biobanking protocol specifically developed for research into blood disorders. Beginning in 2006, and hosted within the MRC Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine, the HaemBio biobank regularly receives samples from UK haematology patients who wish to donate to further medical research. With samples from over 400 individuals, the biobank is an excellent resource for researchers wishing to conduct research into genetic changes, disease mechanisms at a molecular level, drug discovery, and cell behaviour in different physiological environments.
The broad aims of HaemBio biobank are:
- To coordinate the collection and storage of samples for blood cancer research
- To provide access to high quality human samples in accordance with ethical and regulatory standards.
- To increase understanding of blood cancers to improve patient outcomes through better use of existing therapy and discovery of new therapies.
The biobank is currently seeking samples from a broad range of patients including Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN), Lymphoma, Myeloma, Plasma cell cancers, Paediatric leukaemias of Down Syndrome and healthy control samples.
Oxford Centre for Haematology make the HaemBio protocols available to fellow researchers globally, and also grant access to the biobank for researchers who wish to collaborate for a particular haematology research project, upon request.
PATIENT INFORMATION SHEET
If you are asked whether you would like to donate samples to the HaemBio Biobank you will be given a copy of the relevant Patient Information Sheet, for your condition, to read which gives more information about the biobank and what would be involved should you decide to participate. If you agree to participate, you will have to complete a Consent Form.
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
All participants will be selected based on the Biobank eligibility criteria. We are interested in participants with a potential or already known haematology malignancy. For more information and list with accepted diagnosis please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
WITHDRAWAL FROM HAEMBIO BIOBANK
If you wish to withdraw from the Biobank you can without having to give a reason. You can contact:
- Principal Investigator at the Tissue Collection Centre or delegate member of the research team, or
- Write to the Chief Investigator, or
- Write to the Biobank Administrator
If you withdraw from the Biobank, the data and samples already collected from you will be used for future research unless you specifically withdraw consent for this. Samples and data that have already been processed and used in analysis cannot be withdrawn.
Information for Researchers
HaemBio Biobank prioritises the collection, storage and distribution of tissue samples as necessary to deliver approved research programmes.
The Biobank collects serial samples from the same individual wherever possible. The Biobank is divided into five ‘modules’ operating under the same over-arching HaemBio protocol:
- MDSBio: samples from patients with AML/ MDS/ CMML/ MPN/ MDS-MPN overlap
- MyelomaBio: samples from patients with Myeloma/ related plasma cell dyscrasias (Plasmacytoma, AL Amyloid)
- LymphomaBio: samples from patients with Lymphoma and related lymphoproliferative disorders.
- NormalBio: Healthy volunteers
- ChildBio: samples from neonates or children with silent TL-DS, TL-DS, ML-DS or DS-ALL.
TISSUE SAMPLES COLLECTED
Different types of samples may be collected under different modules e.g. bone marrow aspirates, blood and blood derivatives, formalin-fixed bone marrow trephines, germline materials.
For more information and what is available please contact the Biobank Administrator.
APPLYING FOR ACCESS TO SAMPLES
Researchers wishing to access samples from the Biobank should in the first instance approach:
- the HaemBio Biobank Chief Investigator, or
- the Module Lead Clinician, or
- the Biobank Administrator.
An Application for Access to Sample form can then be completed and sent to the Biobank Administrator. A summary of the application process can be found here.
The Biobank protocol, patient information sheets, consent forms and any other information that will be presented to potential patients (e.g. advertisements or information that supports or supplements the informed consent) have been reviewed and approved by an appropriately constituted, independent NHS Research Ethics Committee.
HaemBio Biobank policy is to release samples for use in medical research only after ethical approval for that research has been demonstrated. For research that falls within the REC ‘generic’ approval of the research tissue bank (HaemBio Biobank), review will be undertaken internally by the HaemBio Governance Committee.
HaemBio Biobank is overseen by a committee of experts who are responsible for all aspects of the biobank including security, policy and ethics. The committee members include
External Haematologists: Dominic Culligan (University of Aberdeen), Ceri Bygrave (University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff), Srinivasan Narayanan (University Hospital Southampton).
Lay Representatives: Ian Blelloch and Fiona Crosse.
The Biobank is not run for profit but may apply (or co-apply) for additional grant or commercial infrastructure and/or project funding. It may also seek to recover the actual operating costs of work required to acquire, process, store and supply samples and data.
CURRENT Projects using haembio biobank
- Immunophenotypic and transcriptomic characterisation of peripheral B-cell subsets in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patients and age-matched controls at University of Oxford
- Epigenetic regulation of differentiation of AML progenitors at University of Oxford
- Mechanisms of resistance to 5-Azacytidine at University of British Columbia
- Developing systemic oncolytic adenoviruses for multiple myeloma therapy by Theolytics
- Immune Factors in Neurological Diseases at University of Oxford