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A biobank is a storage facility, or safe house, for tissue samples, tumour cells, DNA and blood samples which are used for research into diseases.

The NSW Health Statewide Biobank can store more than 3 million biospecimen samples.

Human biobanks help researchers carry out clinical studies to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of serious and life-threatening illnesses. Demand for biobanking services has increased significantly over the past 10 years and that demand will continue to grow as biospecimen research matures.

NSW Health Statewide Biobank

NSW Health’s Statewide Biobank is a game changer for medical research in NSW, providing a pathway to better research that leads to better treatment for patients. It’s the first and largest facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and uses large-scale robotic technology to store and process millions of bio-specimens for world-class health and medical research.

For more information visit the NSW Health Statewide Biobank website or download the brochure below.

Consent Standards and Guidelines

The NSW Health Statewide Biobank Consent Toolkit has been developed to guide the consent requirements for the NSW Health Statewide Biobank and provides standards and guidance on consent requirements for other NSW biobank collections.

The Consent Toolkit provides standards for biobanks on the use of broad-based consenting, the return of incidental findings and linkage to NSW Health datasets. It’s about ensuring high ethical research standards are being met, and improves sample and data availability for researchers.

The Toolkit contains a range of consent principles and protocols, participant information sheet, consent form, Ethically Defensible Plan and a compliance checklist.

Compliance with the Consent Toolkit is mandatory for prospective collections of the NSW Health Statewide Biobank and is encouraged to be used by any NSW research biobank seeking consent from potential biobanking participants.

The Consent Toolkit can be download from the NSW Health Statewide Biobank website.

Other Biobanking Resources

The following resources and websites are useful reference points and contain information in relation to biobanking.

NSW Biobank Registry

The Office for Health and Medical Research, NSW Health Pathology, the Cancer Institute NSW and the NSW Cancer Biobanking Stakeholder Network conducted a survey of organisations regarding their biobank infrastructure. The NSW Biobank Registry includes information on 44 biobanks that responded to the survey. The Registry contains information (as at December 2017) provided by participating biobanks and is managed by the NSW Health Statewide Biobank.

International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER)

International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories is a global organisation which creates opportunities for sharing ideas and innovations in biobanking and harmonises approaches to evolving challenges for biological and environmental repositories.

National Health Medical Research Council

The National Health and Medical Research Council is Australia’s leading expert body promoting the development and maintenance of public and individual health standards.

Research Ethics and Governance

All research involving humans conducted within the NSW public health system must be ethically and scientifically reviewed and approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee in accordance with the National Statement (2007).

Centre for Health Record Linkage

The Centre for Health Record Linkage (CHeReL) is dedicated to helping researchers, planners and policy makers access linked health data about people in the NSW and ACT. We host a secure, high performing data linkage system – one of the largest of its kind in Australia – which facilitates high-quality research and health policy decisions.

NSW Research Hubs: Promoting collaboration and translation of research

The NSW Health and Medical Research Hub Strategy a strong emphasis on the role of Research Hubs in promoting collaboration. Hubs coordinate the efforts of geographically proximate medical research institutes, local health districts and primary care providers, universities, industry and philanthropic organisations.

National Association of Testing Authorities of Testing Authorities, Australia

The National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA) provides a foundation for confidence in Australia’s calibration, testing, and inspection activities. NATA technical auditing (accreditation) also underpins the certification of a range of products and services. NATA adds value to thousands of such services in business, industry and government, both in Australia and internationally.

Cancer Biobanking NSW

A site for the biobanking community to share biobank details, events and resources.

Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia

Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia is a virtual biobank hub to provide researchers easy access to the amount, quality and type of tissue and associated data they need to accelerate both paediatric and adult translational brain cancer research.

Canadian Tumour Repository Network

The Canadian Tumour Repository Network was formed in 2004 to foster studies into the determinants of cancer, to better understand cancer prevention and early detection, and to improve the prediction of drug response and the identification of new drug targets.

The UK Biobank

The UK Biobank is a major national health resource, and a registered charity in its own right, with the aim of improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of serious and life-threatening illnesses – including cancer, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, eye disorders, depression and forms of dementia.

Updated 3 years ago