Why store samples?
Translational research Medical science has booked wonderful results the past decades, we live longer and healthier. However, several diseases are still difficult to cure, while new ones have appeared. Translational research in medicine aims at applying findings from fundamental science into diagnostics, vaccines, cures etc. In order to do so, extensive trials must be conducted prior any application to human beings: identify the disease, find out an efficient diagnostic, figure out how to combat the disease and cure it. Tissues and cells from human origin are key in this process.
Tissues and cells from human origin (also called samples) can be kept, usually frozen, for research purposes. It is the role of biobanks to take care of this. The conservation happens in a safe and secure environment according to strict criteria and procedures. The samples can be obtained on purpose, aiming a specific research, with the donor’s consent. In case some tissues are taken from the patient with a therapeutic of diagnostic aim (tumour removal, biopsy...), some part may remain after all therapeutic and diagnostic needs have been satisfied. In case the patient has been informed and does not oppose this, the law of 19 December 2008 allows the remaining tissues to be kept in biobank: those tissues are called residual human corporal material. This way, anybody can contribute easily to biomedical research, simply by allowing human tissues and cells to be used in research project.