Biorepository- Accelerating Research to Seek Tomorrow's Cure
India is a land of enormous genetic, geographical, cultural and linguistic diversity. Recently there has been a surge
in cancer cases with slightly more than 1 million new cases diagnosed every year in a population of 1·4 billion.
GLOBOCAN, National Cancer Registry Programme, and the Million Deaths Study are the main data resources which have
culled out cancer incidences and mortality data from India and have drawn attention to the complex sociocultural backdrop
of the burden of cancer in India.
In the ‘omics era’ biobanks have become drivers accelerating basic, clinical and translational research. In developing
countries like India setting up of a biobank is like planning a legacy. Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre
(RGCIRC),based in the capital city of New Delhi established its biobank services in August 2013. The vision and mission of
the biorepository was to offer investigators resources to enhance basic and translational research into cancer and other
disease processes The five pillars of RGCI&RC biorepository are- specimen acquisition, storage, distribution workflows,
quality assurance and the critical informed consent process.
At present the biorepository stores around 12,000 biosamples in the form of frozen tumor tissue, adjacent normal tissue ,
plasma, buffy coat, FFPE’s. The biosamples are rapidly procured and uniformly held at -196 degree C in vapour phase LN2
for long term storage. Prospective samples for same day shipping are maintained in -80 degree C. Large storage racks
archive formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) blocks across various indications of cancers like-head and neck, thyroid,
breast, ovary, colorectal, lung, kidney and pancreas. A cloud based data management system is in place for assigning storage
locations, tracking, retrieving individual samples and correlating them with clinical data. We have shipped samples to
researchers both Internationally and nationally for proteomics and genomic studies. We comply with most current Best
Practices for Biorepositories as recommended by the NCI’s Office of Biorepository &Bio-specimen Research, ISBER and
also follow ICMR Ethical norms. This hospital integrated Biorepository has pathology as its operational core with quality,
safety, service, customer satisfaction and a sustainable revenue cycle.
With the ongoing efforts we aim to develop a high quality biobank to accelerate research by providing high quality
biospecimens coupled with immediate specimen availability to researchers across the globe.