The brain cancer biobank is being developed by the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance with the generous support of the Mark Hughes Foundation. Our biobank contains tissue and blood samples donated by generous people who are undergoing a diagnosis and treatment for brain cancer. These samples are incredibly important to research that will hopefully be of benefit to many people in the future.
The biobanking process is complicated and involves a team of dedicated people to ensure the best samples possible are collected, stored and used by researchers. My role in this team is the Biobank Liaison Officer which involves talking to the very people who make this a reality; the patients.
When a patient is diagnosed with any form of brain tumour in the hunter my role is to ensure that they are given the opportunity to be a part of our biobank. It has been completely overwhelming, how generous people are in donating their blood and tissue samples to our biobank. They are choosing to donate at such a crucial time point in their treatment/diagnosis all in the hope that they could help prevent this happening to someone else.
I not only educate patients but also hospital staff in the importance of banking tumour samples and related blood samples for research. And together, we have recruited ten patients to our brain cancer biobank all within the first month since collection began.
Receiving the phone call that our first blood sample had arrived in the lab was exciting for us but also showed me that people, even when in one of the most difficult situations in their lives, can see the importance of donating to the biobank.
Every persons experience with brain cancer is different, so I want to be able to follow a patient’s treatment through with them and collect samples at specific time points for them. These sequential samples are invaluable to researchers and will assist them to understand why cancers behave the way they do, so that they can develop better ways to treat and prevent cancers.
I have met some incredibly strong and generous people in this role and I hope I can continue to do so. If you have any questions about biobanking or how to donate to our biobank please call me on 0437 430 454.