HCB Collaboration with the Biobanking Stakeholder Network

The BSN was established by the Cancer Institute NSW  in 2012 to 'provide a forum for biobanks within the framework of the translation cancer research program, cancer research funders, government agencies and consumers to collaborate in enhancing efficiency and streamline biobanking efforts across the state'.

The BSN funds biobanking projects aimed at assisting cancer biobanks in NSW, through research into relevant and current biobanking areas of interest. Funded projects from past years have focused on biobank consent, data linkage and harmonisation.

BSN projects that HCB have collaborated on include:

  1. Embedding patient tissue banking consent into routine clinical practice
  2. Improving Biospecimen quality within BSN Biobanks
  3. The BSN Pre-Operative Consent Project: Developing a model for patient consent to biobanking and health data linkage in NSW (2013 – 2014)
  4. Definition of Minimum Standards for Cancer Institute NSW BSN Biobanks (2013 – 2014)
  5. Investigation into a Collaborative Imaging Database for NSW Biobanks (2013 – 2014)
  6. Data Management Systems and Practices of the Cancer Institute NSW Biobanking Stakeholders Network (2013 – 2014)
  7. Biobank Classification in an Australian Setting

1.Embedding patient tissue banking consent into routine clinical practice: To maximise state-wide consent and enable a patient-led approach to tissue banking

This collaborative project is led by Professor Rodney Scott (HCRA Deputy Director) and comprises of an expert project team from three Translational Cancer Research Centres: HCRA, TCRN, and Northern TCRU. The aim of this project is to extend on previous work conducted on health-provider driven consent processes including the state-wide standardisation of biobank consent, and to investigate the utility and benefits of a patient-driven consent process.

Due to be finalised late 2015

2. Improving Biospecimen Quality within BSN Biobanks 

The success of biobanks relies upon delivery of high quality biospecimens for research. The aim of this collaborative project, led by Associate Professor Jennifer Byrne of the Kids Cancer Alliance, is to increase the quality of biospecimens held within biobanks through best practice and standidised SOPs. Through surveys of existing biobanks and their models of operation and picture of current practices will be built that can then be used to develop standard biospecimen handling practices and quality control measures that can be adopted more widely.

Due to be finalised late 2015

3. The BSN Pre-Operative Consent Project: Developing a model for patient consent to biobanking and health data linkage in NSW (2013 – 2014)

This project involved a series consent pilot projects facilitiated by four TCRCs (including HCRA) across eight hospital sites. The primary aim of this project was to embed biobanking consent into routine pre-operative practice, enabling better engagement from hospital staff and increased tissue and data collection from eligible patients.

Read more about this project here (PDF 8465KB).

4. Definition of Minimum Standards for Cancer Institute NSW BSN Biobanks (2013 – 2014)

Led by Associate Professor Jennifer Byrne of the Kids Cancer Alliance TCRC, this collaborative project outlined minimum standards and recommended networking models for BSN biobanks using qualitative and quantitative data that was obtained through comprehensive, face-to-face surveys with NSW cancer biobank staff.

Read the complete report here (PDF 2345KB).

5. Investigation into a Collaborative Imaging Database for NSW Biobanks (2013 – 2014)

This project involved in-depth survey of the digital image-capture systems currently in use within the BSN with the view to compiling an overview of the functions that would be required in an integrated digital image collaboration shared across the BSN to better facilitate rapid auditing and collaborative research. This project was championed by our HCRA Deputy Director Professor Rodney Scott.

Read the report and recommendations from this project here (PDF 5501KB).

6. Data Management Systems and Practices of the Cancer Institute NSW Biobanking Stakeholders Network (2013 – 2014)

In July 2013, the South West Sydney Translational Cancer Research commissioned Intersect Australia Ltd. to conduct a review of the data management capability and IT systems in use across cancer related biobanks in NSW on behalf of the Cancer Institute NSW Biobanking Stakeholder Network (BSN). To undertake the review, Intersect worked with staff conducting 2 other concurrent BSN survey-based projects, to identify 23 cancer biobanks in NSW and then interview associated staff. In depth interviewing of staff from all 23 biobanks was undertaken to gather the data for this study.

Read the complete report here (PDF 13,746KB)

7. Biobank Classification in an Australian Setting

Abstract

In 2011, Watson and Barnes proposed a schema for classifying biobanks into 3 groups (mono-, oligo-, and polyuser), primarily based upon biospecimen access policies. We used results from a recent comprehensive survey of cancer biobanks in New South Wales, Australia to assess the applicability of this biobank classification schema in an Australian setting. Cancer biobanks were identified using publically available data, and by consulting with research managers. A comprehensive survey was developed and administered through a face-to-face setting. Data were analyzed using Microsoft Excel_ 2010 and IBM SPSS Statistics_ version 21.0. The cancer biobank cohort (n = 23) represented 5 mono-user biobanks, 7 oligo-user biobanks, and 11 poly-user biobanks, and was analyzed as two groups (mono-/oligo- versus poly-user biobanks). Poly-user biobanks employed significantly more full-time equivalent staff, and were significantly more likely to have a website, share staff between biobanks, access governance support, utilize quality control measures, be aware of biobanking best practice documents, and offer staff training. Mono-/oligo-user biobanks were significantly more likely to seek advice from other biobanks. Our results further delineate a biobank classification system that is primarily based on access policy, and demonstrate its relevance in an Australian setting.

Read the whole publication (PDF 118KB)

The University of Newcastle, Australia Hunter New England Local Health District Calvary Mater Newcastle Hunter Medical Research Institute Cancer Institute NSW Pathology North