UK's first brain tumour tissue bank established

26 September 2011

The UK’s first brain tumour tissue bank has opened in Glasgow, providing a promising new resource for research scientists.
A £30,000 donation from the Brainstrust charity has helped establish a new tissue bank for brain tumour samples. According to Cancer Research UK, 4,750 individuals are diagnosed with malignant brain cancer every year and a further 4,500 diagnosed with non-invasive tumours of the central nervous system.
Based in Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, the tissue bank will function as a repository for academic and commercial researchers. The first of its kind in the UK, the new tissue bank will act as a novel resource in the battle against brain cancer, seeking to collect samples from every brain cancer patient in west Scotland.
Comment: The heterogeneity of brain cancer means that a single sample has limited research use, whereas a large accessible collection of tumour tissues can provide a great deal of highly valuable genetic data and aid understanding of complex genetic and cellular mechanisms occurring within different types of brain cancer, as well as gene-environment interactions.

The potential of the Glasgow tumour tissue bank is enormous, and realising its potential will take considerable planning, especially in complying to EU tissue regulations and ensuring safeguards for donors. Hopefully, the tissue bank will spur the development of novel therapeutics for brain tumours.