Biobanks Collected for Routine Healthcare Purposes: Build-Up and Use for Epidemiologic Research

- Methods in Molecular Biology
Author/s: -Dillner, Joakim -Andersson, Kristin
Journal: Methods in Molecular Biology
Year: 2011
Volume: 675
Pages: 113
Start Page: 113

The routine health services collect large amount of samples for biobanking, particularly in clinical laboratory medicine, mainly for clinical diagnostic purposes. These samples provide a large-scale and clinically relevant biobanking infrastructure that can be used for research if these conditions apply. There must be a system for database management that can obtain data on clinical endpoints, vital status, and additional required information via registry linkages. There must be an appropriate ethical system for handling consent for research use. There should be an active effort to optimize the usefulness of clinical biobanks also for research use. Major steps in this direction include measures to stop the ongoing discarding of old samples, reformatting to minimize pick-up times, external quality assurance and formal accreditation of biobanks, building of a dedicated high-quality database that is regularly used for registry linkages, and considerations on whether usefulness and accessibility for research can be optimized by extended saving or pre-treatment of samples. Systematic clinical biobanking could become a major asset for clinical research and public health if biobanking is considered as a routine part of everyday clinical practice, and the science of biobanking is considered an essential part of the science of laboratory medicine.