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Sarcoma Alliance Announces Tissue Bank to Help Researchers
Date:7/24/2013

in blocks and in unstained slides. Serum samples from blood draws are also frozen. Samples may come from different locations in the patient’s body and at different times, she said. For example, in a trial of the drug Gleevec and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, surgeons took fresh-frozen tissue before the patient got chemotherapy and afterward to gauge the drug’s effect.

“We have 20 paired samples, and we’re now looking for money to analyze them," she said.

SARC’s scientific leadership decides who receives samples, she said. Those leaders are divided into three committees: developmental therapeutics, concept review and clinical research. Robert Maki, MD, PhD, medical director of the sarcoma program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, is the director of translational research.

“He moves among the committees; he’s the glue that holds them together,” Reinke said.

“The samples are being collected with annotated information along the way.” She said this includes the patient’s age, treatment, the response to treatment, survival, the location of the tumor, when the sample was taken, and whether the sample came from the original tumor or a metastasis. “Having annotated information is a critical component.”

Samples are stored at the biorepository at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where SARC has bought space. Cooperative groups for other cancers save samples there, too, she said.

SARC doesn’t store all of its samples, Reinke said. “It costs to collect, save and analyze samples. In our IGF1R trial, for example, we had 25,000 serum samples." SARC’s scientific leadership decided they needed to keep only a third of those.

Comprehensive sarcoma centers also save biospecimens, often tied to patient details, said Dafydd G. Thomas, PhD, MD, co-director of the University of Michigan's Molecular Pathology Research Laboratory and its cancer center's Tissue and Molecular Pathology Core in
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