The Tissue Bank is the first of its kind in Queensland to provide a widely available and diversified collection of ethically consented and clinically annotated tissue, helping to unravel the cause, progression and potential treatment for cancer and other diseases.
Professor Julie Campbell AO, Director of The Wesley Research Institute, said the current absence of large, high quality cancer tissue and blood collections with clinical data is a major barrier to improving care of cancer patients.
"Queensland research has taken an enormous step forward this week. There is every possibility that findings made achievable by the Tissue Bank will lead to the next big breakthrough in the fight against cancer," she said.
"By providing researchers who are part of an ethically and scientifically approved research project with tissue, matching blood samples and full clinical data, valuable funds will be saved, which can then be applied to further their research.
"There is compelling evidence that new methods for screening, diagnosis and evaluation of cancer can make a significant impact on cancer care in the immediate future," Professor Campbell said.
Dr John Lumley, a surgeon from The Wesley Hospital, said that these specimens would be donated by consenting patients during the course of their normal treatment.
"I encourage patients and surgeons to support the important work of the Tissue Bank because everybody can play a part in the cure. Every cell contains a clue that can make a difference to tomorrow's cancer patients," he said.
Queensland is well placed as a source of cancer tissue due to its diverse population, large number of aged retirees, and high-rate of some cancers, particularly melanoma. The Wesley Hospital alone had almost 2000 cancer rel