CONCERT Biobank

Part of the Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (CONCERT) Translational Cancer Research Centre, the CONCERT Biobank at the Ingham Institute is a research and tissue collection facility focused on the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The CONCERT Biobank receives and stores a large collection of biological samples – primarily tissue and blood – from individuals in South West Sydney, Illawarra/Shoalhaven and the ACT who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Since its operation in 2012, the CONCERT Biobank has been providing samples to researchers investigating the genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors linked to cancer. These findings are being translated into new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat different types of cancer. The CONCERT Biobank is also a NSW Health Pathology certified Biobank – BRC-00010.

Biobanks are an important weapon in the fight against cancer, and the CONCERT Biobank plays an active role working with hospitals to establish more biobanks in the region.

Our motto: Maximise efficiency and increase utilisation to support cancer research.

The CONCERT Biobank was established as an open-access, multiple collection site, infrastructure tool accessible to all cancer researchers in NSW.

With its generalist cancer approach; collecting biospecimens from all types of cancer, biospecimens collected by the CONCERT Biobank not only includes formalin-fixed paraffin embedded sections as routinely collected by most NSW Biobanks but also is unique in collecting fresh tumour and normal adjacent tissue, as well as blood, cerebrospinal fluid and other relevant bodily fluids.

Aims

CONCERT Biobank aims to provide NSW cancer researchers access to high-quality, representative biospecimens and associated epidemiological, clinical and quality of life data in order to facilitate research to understand the factors that influence early-detection, prevention and treatment of cancer.

Objectives

The key objectives of the CONCERT Biobank are to:

  • Collect and disseminate high-quality biospecimens and information for cancer research.
  • Increase research capacity by providing research support services.
  • Developing strategies and education initiatives to enhance both health professional and public support of biobanks.

Meet the Team:

Biobank Director – Professor Soon Lee

Biobank Manager – Dr Joseph Po

Illawarra/Shoalhaven Site Director – Professor Morteza Aghmesheh

Illawarra/Shoalhaven Site Manager – Ashleigh Splitt

Acting Illawarra/Shoalhaven Site Manager – Ross Turner

Clinical Nurse Consultant – Hei Lan Byun

Biobank Officers – Anshuli Razdan, Tanzila Khan, Steven Trieu, Mohammed Nimir, Shannon Chan, Jeehoon Ham, Prateek Rakesh

Biobanking Stakeholder Network Representative – Associate Professor Kevin Spring

Regulatory and Ethical Compliance

The CONCERT Biobank was established according to national and international Best Practice guidelines such as the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) Best Practices for Repositories Guidelines and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Best Practice Guidelines for Biological Resource Centres.

The CONCERT Biobank is compliant with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research and has approval from the South West Sydney Local Health District HREC (EC00136).

Governance

The CONCERT Biobank is governed by three committees; the CONCERT Biobank Management Advisory Committee (MAC) and Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), as well as the CONCERT TCRC Executive Committee. Each committee has defined roles, powers and responsibilities for the governance of the CONCERT Biobank.

Organisational Structure

Government Structure

2020

  • Feasibility of glioblastoma multiforme organoids
  • Identification of prognostic biomarkers in glioblastoma multiforme patients
  • Comparison of HPV detection in liquid biopsies and tumour tissue of cancer patients using sensitive droplet-digital PCR
  • Blood-based colorectal cancer in vitro diagnostic test development
  • Liquid biopsy for post-surgical monitoring of colorectal cancer
  • Oral cancer in young patients: Identifying the cause and finding the best treatment
  • Understanding the molecular and genetic changes that lead to metastasis in cutaneous SCC
  • Analysis of systemic inflammation in glioblastoma patients
  • Feasibility of glioblastoma multiforme organoids

2019

  • Liquid biopsies in brain cancer
  • Magnetic resonance aided biomarker discover in cancer

2018

  • Immune network analysis in patients with head and neck cancer in the Illawarra region
  • Biomarkers in brain cancer
  • Biomarkers of lung cancer for diagnostic and prognostic purposes
  • Discovery of biomarkers of pancreatic cancer for diagnostic and prognostic purposes
  • Biomarkers of gastric and oesophageal cancer for diagnostic and prognostic purposes

2017

  • Enabling near real-time clinical data capture for biobanks using electronic medical record
  • Biobanking – patient and healthcare professional attitudes and experiences
  • The Dermatology Biobank
  • PET LABRADOR study
  • Fatty acids, eicosanoids and sphingosine-1-phosphate in glioblastoma patient plasma, a pilot study
  • Transcriptome and proteomic profiling to stratify radioresistant subtypes of brain cancer
  • Health professionals opinions towards supporting a cancer biobank – inter-regional
  • Quality assessment and preservation of biobank tissue specimens

For a comprehensive list of projects, please click here.

For a comprehensive list of publications, please click here.

The opportunity to donate to the CONCERT Biobank begins when individuals elect to have surgery as part of their cancer treatment.

When a tumour is removed, it is sent to a pathologist to be examined. Usually, the pathologist uses a small amount of tumour tissue for the diagnosis and then discards the rest.

If an individual chooses to become a donor to the CONCERT Biobank at the Ingham Institute, a small portion of the tumour and surrounding tissue removed during surgery is stored by the biobank. Sometimes a small amount of blood is donated at the same time.

Collecting the tumour sample happens after the pathologist has all of the information needed to make their diagnosis. The biobank then stores the remaining tissue sample securely so that both current and future generations can benefit from the valuable information it contains. Biobanking is internationally recognised as an important activity in the fight against cancer, and biobanks are supported by state and national funding such as the Cancer Institute NSW.

If you would like to participate in the CONCERT Biobank program please speak with your surgeon, medical oncologist or contact us.

Biospecimen Availability

Cancer cohorts include (but are not limited to):

  • Colorectal
  • Head and Neck
  • Neurological
  • Breast
  • Gastric
  • Pancreatic

See our collection information below as of mid-2020:

Request Biospecimens

Biospecimens collected by the CONCERT Biobank are made available to Australian researchers on the provision that use of specimens are for scientifically valid and ethically approved cancer research projects. For our guidelines click here.

To access our researcher application form click here.

Charges and Service Fees

The CONCERT Biobank is a non-profit consortium. Charges and service fees may be applicable to offset the costs of collecting, processing, storing, retrieving and disseminating biospecimens. Please contact the CONCERT Biobank for current fees and charges.

Annual Reports

  • Concert Biobank Yearly Report 2020
  • Concert Biobank Yearly Report 2019
  • Concert Biobank Yearly Report 2018
  • Concert Biobank Yearly Report 2017
  • Concert Biobank Yearly Report 2016
  • Concert Biobank Yearly Report 2015
  • Concert Biobank Yearly Report 2014
  • Concert Biobank Yearly Report 2013

Connect with us!

Follow us on LinkedIn and please email all enquiries to Biobank@inghaminstitute.org.au.

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