Current challenges of human tumour banking

Hematol Oncol. 2005 Jun;23(2):54-6. doi: 10.1002/hon.749.


Tumour Banks (TB) are called upon to play a central role in Oncological translational research. TB have been existing since Pathology Departments started storing blocks of tissue samples, but in keeping this role they must face some urgent challenges including: an updated definition of hospital TB, integration into clinical trials and projects of excellence, networking and a new framework for ethics and laws. Current TB definition includes not only tissue storage, but also a series of hospital protocols that allow molecular studies of tumour and normal samples. The real value of these protocols and samples appears with scientific projects of excellence and integrated in clinical trials. Most of these trials need for a large number of cases with homogeneously treated tissue samples in the context of multicentre and multinational projects. Thereby, networking appears the best solution for TB to expand. Networking implies standardised technical procedures, a strict quality control programme, homogeneous ethic requirements and an open mentality for sharing. In the international setting the major challenge for networking is the various laws and customs in the different countries. To bring these diverse legislation together is, perhaps, the most important challenge for TB Networking in the very close future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy / ethics
  • Humans
  • Legislation, Medical
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tissue Banks / ethics*
  • Tissue Preservation / ethics