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FP6

CCPRB — Result In Brief

Project ID: 503465
Funded under: FP6-LIFESCIHEALTH
Country: Sweden

Integrating biobank-based research in Europe

Biological information obtained in pre-clinical models needs to be validated in human samples. An EU-funded initiative to integrate European biobanks and establish common rules and procedures for quality assurance will hopefully improve the use of banked samples for research purposes.
Integrating biobank-based research in Europe
Biobanks represent important reservoirs of human samples which feed molecular epidemiology, cancer treatment and prevention studies. To ensure quality of material, provision of pathology data and potential integration with other banks across Europe, certain standards need to be applied.

The key objective of the EU ‘Cancer control using populationbased registries and biobanks’ (CCPRB) project was to maintain and integrate Europe's largest biobanks. Existing databases were linked with population registries to obtain statistics for representativeness and cancer incidences.

Additionally, the CCPRB network developed a statistical analysis centre for advancing the methodology used in biobank-based studies, and set up a quality assurance system. This improved the quality of samples as well as the efficiency in management and coordination. To maintain comprehensive and high-quality health data registries, quality assurance systems were established for registry data as well.

The CCPRB initiative promoted various joint international biobank studies including an epidemiology study involving the assessment of familial risks for many cancers, as well as of lung cancer in twins and offspring of lung cancer parents. This work interestingly showed that there are genetic determinants of survival in cancer, which are distinct from those that convey risk for cancer per se.

By providing a large collection of breast cancer samples, the CCPRB network facilitated a genome-wide scan to identify the specific genetic determinants of breast cancer survival. Also, a number of large-scale association studies within the participating biobanks were performed, evaluating candidate SNPs in signalling pathways, metastasis, cell signalling and apoptosis pathways.

Another major finding fuelled by biobank samples was the discovery of frequent recombination between TT virus genomes in maternal sera from childhood leukaemia pregnancies.

The CCPRB project has formed the study base for uniquely large population-based prospective studies on cancer, while at the same time it defined and implemented European Quality Standards. These quality assurance systems are expected to enhance future use of biobank samples for research.

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