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Tumor Tissue Banking Services
 
Tumor cells display dozens of biomarkers. The particular biomarkers form a profile or “fingerprint.” Just as each person’s fingerprints are unique, the biomarker profile of each patient’s cancer is different. This is part of why some cancer drugs work in only 20-30% of patients with the “same” cancer. It is also part of why some cancer drugs may stop working as a cancer progresses and its biomarker profile changes.

In the future, depending on the type of disease and how science advances, tumor tissue may provide information relevant to a patient's treatment if it is saved at the time of surgery, and properly stored for such use.


  WHY SHOULD I CONSIDER STORING MY TUMOR TISSUE?

In the future, a patient's tumor tissue might be able to provide information about the patient's particular cancer, and help patients and their physicians make decisions relevant to patient treatment.
  • Genetic profiling of a patient's tumor may in some cases provide information about the patient's cancer and prognosis (how it may behave), and help inform treatment decisions.

  • Chemo-sensitivity testing may have the potential to help identify which drugs a particular tumor is sensitive to and which ones it’s not. This may one day help physicians better tailor treatments to individual patients.

  • Personalized immune therapies are currently under investigation that are evaluating use of biomarkers from a patient's own tumor tissue, together with the patient's immune cells for certain cancer treatment purposes. For more information about clinical trials involving a patient's tumor tissue and the criteria for participating in those trials, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

  WHAT IF MY DOCTOR OR HOSPITAL PLANS TO STORE MY TUMOR TISSUE?

Most major hospitals collect and archive a sample of each patient’s tumor tissue. This is something quite different than a patient privately banking tumor tissue... and there is room for both...
  • Tumor samples stored by a hospital belong to the hospital, not the patient. The patient has no right to access or use the stored sample of their own tumor. The hospital typically uses your tumor sample for its own research and/or research with drug companies.

  • The method by which some samples are stored in hospitals make them unusable for some experimental or testing purposes. When tumor tissues are banked at HealthBank, they are flash frozen in their existing condition, which preserves their utility for virtually any kind of use.

If your doctor or hospital say they need to keep all of your tumor tissue, or they refuse for other reasons to let you collect your own tumor tissue in order to bank it…
  • HealthBank professionals can help you obtain cooperation from your doctor or hospital.

  • Collecting your tumor tissue for banking is not mutually exclusive with the hospital keeping a sample, too: Even a small amount of tumor tissue might be useful in the future: e.g., in some cases just ½ gram has been enough for profiling; just 1.5 to 2 grams is being used in some clinical trials.

  HOW DO I SAVE MY TUMOR TISSUE?

Step 1: BEFORE SURGERY
Contact us to have a HealthBank Kit sent to your doctor. Obtain your doctor’s agreement to save your tissue using the HealthBank Kit. Let us know if you need any help obtaining your doctor’s agreement. Have your doctor contact us to review the instructions for use of the Kit.

Step 2: DURING SURGERY
A nurse or technician in the operating room will simply put the tumor tissue into the Kit, seal the Kit, and hand it over to the shipping company representative, who will come to the medical center and wait to receive it.

Step 3: AFTER SURGERY
We will receive the Kit, process the tumor tissue, and freeze it in a special way so that it can be used for the types of purposes described above. If there is enough tissue, we will freeze it in multiple small portions (called aliquots), so that you can unfreeze different portions at different times and use them for different purposes.


  HOW DO I USE MY TUMOR TISSUE AFTER IT IS STORED?

You simply notify us whenever you’re ready to make use of some or all of your frozen tumor tissue, and provide written instructions to us about where you would like to have the tissue sent. We will promptly send out the tissue in accordance with your instructions. You will be responsible for the shipping costs, as explained below.


  WHAT WILL IT COST TO SAVE AND STORE MY TUMOR TISSUE?

The costs are comparable to storing umbilical cord blood stem cells. The initial processing and freezing of your tumor tissue, and first year of frozen storage, will cost $2,000 plus shipping costs. Subsequent years of storage will cost $195 per year.



About Us
HealthBank is a leader in the complex processing, isolation, freezing, and storage of fragile living cell products. HealthBank's team has long experience in the processing and freezing of tumor tissue for purposes of clinical research, and HealthBank is the only private bio bank in the US providing tumor banking services for patients.

For inquiries, kindly send an email to [email protected].