Hertfordshire set to house world-class cancer tissue bank

In collaboration with the Press Association

A new world-class archive of tissue and blood samples for use in cancer research is to be based in Bishop's Stortford.

High quality tumour tissues, blood and other bodily samples will be donated by patients and stored on-site, providing cancer researchers with an unprecedented level of access to high quality samples and anonymous information on the patients from whom the samples were taken.

Samples will be collected and catelogued by onCore UK, which is funded by Cancer Research UK, the Department of Health and the Medical Research Council, and the contract to store the samples has been awarded to Fisher BioServices, which will manage and maintain donated tissues, as well as providing logistical support.

Brian Clark, chief executive of onCore UK, said: "Today's announcement is the first step towards our goal of speeding up the pace of cancer research in the UK.

"Having selected Fisher BioServices to provide our central repository, we're looking forward to working with partners in the NHS to build a world-class archive of tissue samples for use in cancer research."

Mr Clark noted that the ultimate aim of the tissue bank is to benefit cancer patients, allowing researchers to access high quality patient samples in order to test their hypotheses.

"By taking a national approach to this issue we hope to be able to speed the development of new treatments for cancer," he added.

Robert Jones, head of UK operations for Fisher BioServices, said: "Fisher BioServices has a long history of providing high quality sample management services to cancer research organisations in the UK and US, and we are delighted to have been chosen by onCore UK to house such an important resource in the fight against cancer."

Mr Jones added that the partnership would provide cancer researchers with "an unparalleled archive of biomaterials, collected, stored and distributed in the highest quality and most regulated manner".