Generic Biobank

The Biomedical Research Centre Generic Biobank was set up to serve as an important core resource to collect clinically relevant samples and make them available to researchers for both basic and translational studies. It facilitates research programmes aimed at identifying and developing new personalised treatments for cancer. 

Researcher taking a sample from a freezer

A dedicated biobanking team provide infrastructure support to manage sample acquisition into the generic biobank.

Delivering key national programmes

The Biobank, which includes plasma collected for ctDNA analysis, has been pivotal to the delivery of a number of key national programmes, the most significant of which was the 100,000 Genomes Project, which achieved the 100,000th sequence in December  2018. The experience gained and pathways developed by the Biobank with the clinical services teams has led to the formation of the North London Genomics Laboratory Hub, the primary provider of cancer genomic testing for the NHS in London.

The Generic Biobank Steering Group (GBSG), chaired by the Clinical Director of R&D, has strategic oversight of biobank activities. Membership, including the Clinical Research Executive, surgeons, pathologists and key research scientists across The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research partnership, ensure samples within the bank are made accessible to researchers. Sample applications to the bank are welcomed from both internal and external researchers with high quality research programmes, identified through a stringent peer review process.

Our biobank facilities

The samples are stored in Human Tissue Authority (HTA) compliant facilities housed within the Centre for Molecular Pathology. The facilities comprise -80°C freezers and liquid nitrogen units with a combined storage capacity for more than 900,000 frozen samples and a paraffin block and slide store.

This state of the art building is designed to create a close collaborative research environment for clinical and scientific staff to take new treatments rapidly to patients.

Ethically approved biobanks must demonstrate clear transparent process for sample acquisition, storage and disposal, in line with HTA core principles, within a well-defined governance structure.

Our research

Our six research themes and two cross-cutting themes bring together a critical mass of internationally renowned clinicians, scientists and allied health professionals, allowing us to ensure that novel diagnostics and physical and systemic therapies are rapidly available to all cancer patients.

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