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01.12.2019 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Journal of Translational Medicine 1/2019

In search of an evidence-based strategy for quality assessment of human tissue samples: report of the tissue Biospecimen Research Working Group of the Spanish Biobank Network

Journal of Translational Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2019
Margalida Esteva-Socias, María-Jesús Artiga, Olga Bahamonde, Oihana Belar, Raquel Bermudo, Erika Castro, Teresa Escámez, Máximo Fraga, Laura Jauregui-Mosquera, Isabel Novoa, Lorena Peiró-Chova, Juan-David Rejón, María Ruiz-Miró, Paula Vieiro-Balo, Virginia Villar-Campo, Sandra Zazo, Alberto Rábano, Cristina Villena
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The purpose of the present work is to underline the importance of obtaining a standardized procedure to ensure and evaluate both clinical and research usability of human tissue samples. The study, which was carried out by the Biospecimen Science Working Group of the Spanish Biobank Network, is based on a general overview of the current situation about quality assurance in human tissue biospecimens. It was conducted an exhaustive review of the analytical techniques used to evaluate the quality of human tissue samples over the past 30 years, as well as their reference values if they were published, and classified them according to the biomolecules evaluated: (i) DNA, (ii) RNA, and (iii) soluble or/and fixed proteins for immunochemistry. More than 130 publications released between 1989 and 2019 were analysed, most of them reporting results focused on the analysis of tumour and biopsy samples. A quality assessment proposal with an algorithm has been developed for both frozen tissue samples and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples, according to the expected quality of sample based on the available pre-analytical information and the experience of the participants in the Working Group. The high heterogeneity of human tissue samples and the wide number of pre-analytic factors associated to quality of samples makes it very difficult to harmonize the quality criteria. However, the proposed method to assess human tissue sample integrity and antigenicity will not only help to evaluate whether stored human tissue samples fit for the purpose of biomarker development, but will also allow to perform further studies, such as assessing the impact of different pre-analytical factors on very well characterized samples or evaluating the readjustment of tissue sample collection, processing and storing procedures. By ensuring the quality of the samples used on research, the reproducibility of scientific results will be guaranteed.
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