Tissue Bank

A member of the Victorian Cancer Biobank

The Tissue Bank provides researchers with ethically collected, high quality human tissue, blood and data samples for their investigative projects. It also supports clinical trials by processing and storing blood and tissue specimens in accordance with trial-specific protocols

Human tissue samples 

After consenting patients, our Tissue bank takes annotated specimens of human tissue that are not required for pathological testing. We then "snap freeze" these samples to ensure that ice crystals do not distort the arrangement of cells, and formalin fixed and paraffin embedded (FFPE). We then slice the embedded tissue into very thin sections. We divide, label, and group these samples for use in research studies, classified by tumour type and subtype, and as cancerous or benign. 


The Tissue bank also prepares tissue microarrays (TMAs), by taking a core ("punching" a hole) through layers of a single FFPE tissue block, across many different sample blocks and combining the cores in one TMA block. We then cut thin sections from this TMA block, allowing researchers to analyse for a particular gene expression from many different samples in a single experiment, quickly and efficiently. 

Blood samples 

We collect blood samples from consenting donors and separate and store them as mononuclear cells, buffy coat, plasma and serum. The Tissue bank also extracts DNA from tissue and blood products, allowing researchers to look at DNA derived from tumour tissue to identify changes that occur in cancer. They can also look at germline DNA, from blood samples or normal tissue, to determine if a cancer is inherited or acquired. 

Researchers can access the resources and expertise of the Tissue bank through the Victorian Cancer Biobank.