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Human Tissue Resource Center

PATIENT INFORMATION

Biospecimen Banking Project < +->

  • What is a Biospecimen Bank?
    • The Biospecimen Bank is a facility within the University of Chicago Medical Center which acts as a center for processing and storage of Biospecimens collected for research in various clinical areas of the Medical Center. The tissue you donate for research will be collected and processed by the University of Chicago Biospecimen Bank personnel using standard operating procedures.
  • What is a Biospecimen?
    • A biospecimen refers to any tissue, blood or body fluid removed from a human being. Biospecimens may be obtained though a biopsy, surgery, blood draw or any medical procedure which yields body fluids.
  • What is Biospecimen Banking?
    • Biospecimen Banking is the process of collecting and processing in specific and uniform manners any tissue, blood or body fluid. These specimens are then stored for the purpose of current or future scientific research. This is done in a way which does not interfere with the diagnostic process. Biospecimen Banking allows researchers access to the highest quality specimens for their studies.
  • What is the purpose of Biospecimen Banking?
    • The purpose of Biospecimen Banking is to collect biospecimen samples for research. Research with these specimens can help scientists find out more about what causes diseases, how to prevent them, how to treat them and how to cure them. Many scientific research studies require the use of biospecimens to help develop new tests to diagnose diseases or new drugs to treat them.
  • What are some potential benefits of Biospecimen Research?
    • The potential benefits of research utilizing biospecimens include:
      • Understanding how cells work.
      • Identifying the probable causes of cancer and other diseases.
      • Identifying the role genetics play in cancer and other diseases.
      • Helping in the development of new treatments for cancer and other medical conditions.
      • Contributing to the development of new drugs.
      • Promoting the development of screening tests (biomarkers) for medical conditions.
      • Developing preventative strategies for cancers and other medical conditions.
      • Aiding in evaluating the potential response to a treatment.
  • Will Biospecimen Banking affect my treatment?
    • No. When you have a biopsy, surgery or blood draw your doctor will remove some body tissue, blood or body fluid for tests. There may be some tissue or body fluids left over that would otherwise be discarded. This tissue can be banked for future medical research. The collection and storage of the specimens will not affect your diagnosis or treatment. Your doctor will not take more tissue, blood or body fluids during your surgery or blood draw than is needed for your care unless you have consented to allow us to do so. Your surgery will not take longer because of participation in this collection process.
  • How can I participate in Biospecimen Research?
    • During your clinical evaluation or treatment at the University of Chicago Medical Center, your doctor, a member of his or her research staff, or a member of the Biospecimen Bank research staff may ask you to participate in a research study involving the collection of a biospecimen. The research staff member will explain to you the reason for the study, details of the study, your level of participation, your rights and decision to participate. You will be given an opportunity to ask questions. You then will be asked to sign the consent document. This process is call informed consent. After you sign the consent, you will be given a copy of the consent document. Taking part in any research study is voluntary. The decision of whether or not you wish to participate in a study will not affect your care at the University of Chicago.
  • Who can use my samples?
    • Your samples can be used by a University of Chicago Medical Center Researchers or outside agents who have collaborated with a University Researcher. All studies must have Institutional Review Board approval for the use of human tissue samples for research. A copy of the approval must be provided to the Biospecimen Bank before any specimen is released.
  • If I participate in a research study involving the collection of a biospecimen, will any personal or medical information be collected about me?
    • The consent document will state if any protected health information will be collected for the intended research and who will collect this information. The consent document will specifically note what information is to be collected and for how long it will be kept.
  • How will my privacy be protected?
    • All samples stored for research purposes will be given a unique barcode number. Any personal identifiers will not be noted on your sample(s). Your sample cannot directly identify you. All samples will be kept in a secured freezer or cabinet. The link between your sample and your identity is kept in a password protected system accessed only by the investigator directing the research and the biospecimen bank staff.
  • How long will I be in the study?
    • You can participate in a research study for a defined period of time or indefinitely. The consent document will note the timeframe for participation in the study.
  • Can I withdraw from a study once I have consented?
    • You may withdraw from a study at anytime by giving written notification to the investigator directing the research. The name and address of the investigator in charge of the study is listed on the first page of the consent document. Your specimens and associated clinical data will be destroyed. However, portions of your specimen that have been released for scientific study may not be able to be retrieved for destruction.
  • Will I be informed of the outcomes of the studies using my specimens?
    • No, you will not be notified of any scientific discoveries or drug development that resulted from the study of your specimen. In many cases the researchers are not aware of your identity as the specimens have had all identifying information removed before the researcher receives the specimens.
  • What are the costs?
    • There is no cost to you to participate in this study. No part of the research will be billed to either you or your insurance company. The normal costs associated with your surgery and medical care will be billed to you or your insurance company.
  • Will I be paid for my participation?
    • You will not be paid for participation in this study. As a part of this research performed, some of your tissue may be used for the development of commercial products such as new drugs or tests. However, you will not receive any compensation in the event commercial development using your tissue takes place.
  • What are the risks of participating in a research study requiring collection of a biospecimen?
    • The risks of participating in each study will be listed in the consent document. Risks may be involved in the actual collection of a biospecimen or a breach of privacy by disclosure of your protected health information. Procedures are in place to guard your information and privacy to help ensure this does not happen.
  • Will I benefit from the research using my tissue?
    • There is no direct benefit to you since biobanking does not affect your medical treatment and you are not compensated for the use of your tissue. You may however, benefit from the overall information gained by the research done on your specimen and that of other patients. Biospeciemen research can lead to discoveries in the treatment and the cure of diseases which may affect you or someone you know.