The Tissue Bank began collecting tissue from neurosurgical operations in 1978 and has established an organized repository of characterized tissues that have been collected and maintained in a manner useful for a wide range of studies. Copies of each patient's consent to donate their tissue for research are maintained in a secure area of the Tissue Bank. Clinical data from each case are logged into a secured computer data base. Tissue received into the Tissue Bank is catalogued and referenced by a consecutive numbering system in order to maintain patients' confidentiality.
Researchers submit a request form to the Manager to obtain samples. This form requires an explanation of the tissue requested (type, number of samples, justification), description of the study, CHR approval and Project Leader authorization. Requests for tissue array slides are also received by the Tissue Bank Manager. Each request is reviewed for feasibility by the Manager and for research conflict and priority by a member of the Scientific Core Committee.
It has proven essential to establish a priority hierarchy for tissue distribution to guarantee that researchers are able to fulfill their grant commitments. This also guards against problems with potentially conflicting studies. Our distribution priorities are in the following order: BTRC, UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCSF, and outside investigators. Within each category, preference is given to projects described in funded grants. Where there is conflict, the earlier approval date takes preference. After the tissue request has been approved, tissue is prepared as requested. Before distribution tissue portions are sectioned and stained with H&E. A neuropathologist reviews these histological slides to verify the pathology in the sample distributed. To date, we have been able to fill requests for studies in a variety of fields.
We have established a complete histology service including tissue processing, embedding, sectioning and H&E staining for fixed tissues, in addition to creating and staining frozen sections. This facility enables the Tissue Bank to support research needs for fixed samples from animal model experiments, to fulfill requests for paraffin sections from diagnostic samples and to provide frozen sections for histologic review.
Monthly reports are issued informing all clinical and research Project Leaders of the numbers of cases collected, pathologic diagnoses, quantity of tissue collected and labeling indices, if performed. Annual reports are also issued listing quantities of each diagnosis type collected and the distribution history of samples during the previous year.
A major portion of the Tissue Bank activities are supported by competitive, peer-reviewed grants, such as the BTRC's Program Project and Brain Tumor SPORE grants, with supplemental funding from individual foundation awards. The Tissue Bank, which has frozen samples from over 4500 cases collected since 1978, is located at UCSF on the 7th floor of the Health Sciences West building (HSW-771).
For more information, visit: https://gnome.ucsf.edu/tbank/