By Keith Leung, MD, Oncology & Hematology Clinic, Valley Medical Center
While much remains unknown about the development, behavior and progression of cancer, through the efforts of researchers and participation of cancer patients all over the world, our knowledge and treatments in the field of cancer care continue to advance.
Because greater understanding will guide us to future cancer treatments, the National Cancer Institutes launched the Cancer Moonshot Biobank Research Protocol. In this protocol, patients with advanced cancers are asked to donate blood and/or cancer tissue samples, along with details of their treatments to a central secure biobank. The biobank tests, stores and provides biological specimens for cancer researchers. The data and samples are de-identified (coded) and remain anonymous. The biobank will serve as a library of samples available to researchers to study the cancers’ behavior and responses to treatments.
How Valley patients benefit from participating in the biobank
Valley Medical Center is a proud participant in the Cancer Moonshot Biobank Research Protocol. After the biobank receives the patient’s blood or tissue, patients and their physician are sent a comprehensive genetic profile of the patient’s cancer. This profile may help guide their physician in future treatments or other trials suitable for the patient. On a global level, participation also enhances overall understanding of cancer and will improve the lives of future cancer patients.
Who can participate?
If you have locally advanced or metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread) of the lung, GI tract, prostate, bone marrow, or melanoma, you may be able to donate blood and/or tissue samples.
What to expect
If you choose to take part in this research study, samples and health information will be collected from you over the course of your cancer treatment. If you wish, you can create a secure online profile and directly receive results of the genetic and specialized testing of your samples. You can share this information with your doctor and discuss what the results might mean for your care.
How to participate in the biobank
If you are a cancer patient who is interested, please contact your physician. A member of Valley’s clinical research team will reach out, confirm if you are qualified and help register you for the study. They’ll also arrange for collection of the necessary samples and send them to the biobank. Usually this involves a blood draw and a request for tissue that may be left over from a previous biopsy.