Biobanking: helping to improve the lives of people with CLL

Lead researcher - Dr Francesco Forconi, University of Southampton
Cell Bank: Renewal of a non-trial CLL and mature B-cell malignancies tissue bank as a national resource
Amount awarded: £80,521
Award start date: 01 Jun 2015
Award duration: 1.5 years

Collection of tumour material is essential to understand causes, mechanisms of cancer and to discover new therapies. This application requests support to maintain and expand a cell bank, which will provide national groups with samples from patients with leukaemias and lymphomas not part of clinical trials. This bank has been instrumental to clinical and non-clinical researchers to prove their research hypotheses in leukaemias/lymphomas, since its inception. The samples collected have been associated with clinical diagnostic details and outcome endpoints, which can be readily informative to patient’s prognosis. Bank remits are now to i) extend access of samples to national researchers, ii) extend collection of different tissue material from tumour and non-tumour samples at sequential time points throughout disease course from Haematological-Oncology Centres; iii) perform homogeneous basic phenotypic, immunogenetic and functional characterisation of samples and collect tumour/non-tumour nucleic acids for genomic studies, and iv) collect clinically relevant ‘state’ and ‘dynamic’ endpoints from each patient. Funding is requested to renew staff to process, store and release well-characterised samples nationally. The bank will offer a unique resource for national and international collaborations in CLL and in mature B-cell tumour entities, and will complement the Liverpool UK clinical trial biobank.