Human tissue biobanks as instruments for drug discovery and development: impact on personalized medicine

Biomark Med. 2010 Dec;4(6):895-903. doi: 10.2217/bmm.10.104.


In recent years, biobanks of human tissues have evolved from small-scale collections of pathological materials into structured resource centers for acquisition, storage, processing and usage of high-quality biospecimens for research. This evolution goes hand in hand with the development of highly sensitive, high-throughput methods for biomarker discovery. The complexity of the molecular patterns of diseases such as cancer provides multiple opportunities for targeted therapeutic intervention, tailored to suit the particular characteristics of each patient. Developing and evaluating such novel therapies requires access to rigorously designed and well-structured collections of biospecimens. In turn, biobanking infrastructures have a critical impact on the discovery, development and implementation of new drugs for cancer treatment. Therefore, it is essential to harmonize biobanking procedures, and to develop innovative solutions supporting biobank interoperability and specimen sharing, ensuring that new drugs may effectively reach out to the largest possible number of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Banks / classification
  • Blood Banks / ethics
  • Blood Banks / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Blood Banks / organization & administration
  • Blood Banks / standards
  • Blood Banks / trends
  • Commerce
  • Confidentiality
  • Drug Discovery / methods*
  • Drug Discovery / trends
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Organizations, Nonprofit
  • Precision Medicine / trends*
  • Private Sector
  • Public Sector
  • Tissue Banks / classification
  • Tissue Banks / ethics
  • Tissue Banks / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Tissue Banks / organization & administration
  • Tissue Banks / standards
  • Tissue Banks / trends*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers