AIM: To survey UK cellular pathology departments regarding their attitudes and practices relating to release of human tissue from their diagnostic archives for use in clinical trial research.
METHODS: A 30-item questionnaire was circulated to the National Cancer Research Institute's Cellular Molecular Pathology initiative and Confederation of Cancer Biobanks mailing lists. Responses were collected over a 10-month period from November 2016 to August 2017.
RESULTS: 38 departments responded to the survey, the majority of which regularly receive requests for tissue for research purposes. Most requests come from academia and financial support to facilitate tissue release comes from a variety of sources. A range of practices were reported in relation to selection of the most appropriate sample to release, consent checking, costing and governance frameworks.
CONCLUSIONS: This survey demonstrates wide variation in practice across the UK and identifies barriers to release of human tissue for clinical trial research. Until we can overcome these obstacles, patient samples will remain inaccessible to research. Therefore, this study highlights the urgent need for clear and coordinated national guidance on this issue.
Bibliographical noteThe NCRI’s CM-Path initiative was established in 2016 with the aim of reinvigorating academic pathology. It is funded as a collaborative venture between 10 of the NCRI partner organisations: Bloodwise, Breast Cancer Now, Cancer Research UK, the Chief Scientist Office (Scotland), the Department of Health and Social Care (England), Health and Care Research Wales, Health and Social Care (Northern Ireland), the Medical Research Council, Prostate Cancer UK and Tenovus Cancer Care. These organisations did not participate in study design; collection, analysis and interpretation of data; writing the report or the decision to submit the paper for publication.
- Cancer research
- Laboratory management
- Academies and Institutes
- Pathology, Molecular/ethics
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- United Kingdom
- Clinical Trials as Topic/ethics
- Pathology, Clinical/ethics
- Specimen Handling/ethics