Development and Maintenance of a Biospecimen Repository for Clinical Samples Derived from Pulmonary Patients

Clinical and Translational Science (Impact Factor: 1.43). 05/2014; 7(4). DOI: 10.1111/cts.12161
Source: PubMed


The Pulmonary Biospecimen Repository (PBR) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) was launched in 2009. The purpose of the UAB PBR is to provide investigators within the pulmonary community at UAB and elsewhere with clinical samples derived from multiple lung diseases, including transplant recipients, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, and asthma. Cell and fluid samples isolated from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), plasma, and serum are collected and stored; samples are assessed routinely for viability. Each sample is linked directly with the respective patient information via the Pulmonary Translational Research and Clinical Database, a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant database that includes detailed information allowing for the study of specific patient cohorts. To access samples, investigators must complete a request form, which is reviewed by the UAB PBR Steering Committee. To date, more than 800 patients have provided approximately 7,000 BAL, serum and plasma fluid, and cell samples. Over the past 4 years, nearly 800 of these samples have been distributed to investigators at UAB and elsewhere. Future plans for the UAB PBR include expanding sample collection to additional pulmonary diseases, such as mycobacterial infections, increasing the number of sample users and obtaining external funding to ensure its continued sustainability.

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    ABSTRACT: While widespread use of animal modeling has transformed pulmonary research, the overarching goal of biomedical research is to enhance our understanding of human physiology and pathology. Thus, we believe that future gains in understanding human lung disease will be enhanced when studying patient-derived samples becomes an integral part of the investigational process. For idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), investigators need quality human specimens, collected in a standardized fashion, along with carefully annotated, long-term clinical and outcomes data to address current knowledge gaps. Access to human lung tissues through commercial entities or the Lung Tissue Resource Consortium, an NHLBI-funded consortium, has demonstrated the feasibility of this approach. However, these samples are not always well-annotated or collected uniformly, and are limited in their breadth to address future IPF research needs. Therefore, we propose leveraging ongoing and future studies in IPF to establish a biorepository which will meet current and future needs of IPF investigations. Specifically, we propose that blood, cell, and lung samples, linked to robust longitudinal clinical phenotyping generated from future industry, federally-sponsored, and investigator-initiated clinical studies be prospectively and uniformly collected and stored in a biorepository and linked registry. Here we outline standardized methodologies that would allow specimens and clinical data collected from different studies to be integrated and accessible to the IPF research community for investigations which will inform future basic and translational research in IPF. Such a biorepository needs the combined efforts of all stakeholders, to be driven by projected future scientific needs and to be available to all qualified researchers. We believe this infrastructure is crucial, is feasible, and would accelerate research in IPF.
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