Abstract 649: Biobank collaboration enables cancer modeling with high quality biospecimens and data

Document Type


Publication Date



Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Nursing

Journal Title

American Association for Cancer Research

MeSH Headings

Biological Specimen Banks, Abstracting and Indexing, Neoplasms


According to the National Cancer Institute, the lack of standardized, high-quality biospecimens is one of the most significant roadblocks to progress in cancer research. This shortage especially affects the generation of murine xenograft models of human cancers. Maine, with the third largest age-adjusted cancer incidence rate in the nation, has abundant cancer specimens potentially available for research. To meet the need for quality biospecimens, the biobanks at Eastern Maine Medical Center and Maine Medical Center have established a collaboration to jointly procure cancer specimens from Maine patients. Through this collaboration, the cooperating biobanks provide researchers with tissue, blood, bone marrow and other body fluid specimens from a broad spectrum of solid and hematologic cancers. The specimens from hematologic cancer patients have > 90% viability and demonstrate anticipated biomarker composition by flow cytometry. The comparatively high frequency of engraftment of solid tumors in immunodeficient mice is also indicative of the quality of the samples procured by both repositories. Currently, the biobanks are providing fresh ovarian tumors to develop new xenograft models for poorly engrafting tumors in collaboration with the Jackson Laboratory's Patient Derived Xenograft Program. Both biobanks are integrated with clinical and pathology practices and, therefore, the specimens are annotated with in-depth, de-identified patient datasets. With support from the Maine Cancer Foundation, the biobanks have created the Maine Cancer Biospecimen Portal (MBCP), a website that provides one-stop access to annotated cancer biospecimens and to consultation services for translational research study design. The collaboration of the EMMC and MMC biobanks provides a resource of high quality biospecimens for advancement of both in vivo and in vitro translational research such as mouse models of human cancers.



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