Scientists from the University of Glasgow have received funding from Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to run a state of the art cancer sample banking facility, vital to researchers across the UK.
The team, led by Professor Ruth Jarrett from the Centre for Virus Research at Glasgow, has been awarded £290,000 to improve the unique cell bank of blood samples from lymphoma patients in the West of Scotland. The bank allows researchers to access tissue from lymphoma patients in the region to conduct studies into the causes of these diseases.
The Glasgow bank is unusual, if not unique, in that samples are stored deep frozen in liquid nitrogen as viable cells and therefore the samples are suitable for a greater variety of analyses. Samples stored this way are still exhibit their normal functions when thawed and are able to be studied to identify genetic processes, determine whether the cancer has been triggered by a virus or monitor how the disease spreads. This makes them more useful in research to improve the understanding of the diseases and targeting treatments for lymphoma.
The team already have access to 8,500 samples from 1,500 lymphoma patients and the researchers will collect a further 200 samples each year, providing important materials for further studies into the disease by researchers across the country.
Professor Jarrett said: “The cell bank has already enhanced research into lymphoma that we and other scientists are able to carry out. This continued funding of the project means that the research community will be able to study the diseased cells and we’ll gain a greater understanding of the processes that take place in lymphoma cells.”
Professor Chris Bunce, Research Director at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “The development of this cell bank is important and will play a vital role in lymphoma research in the UK. Already we’re making breakthroughs in the battle to beat blood cancer and the additional resource of this cell bank will greatly enhance the projects that are currently taking place, as well as helping shape the future of research in the field.”