Biospecimen & Tissue Pathology

The Biospecimen and Tissue Pathology Shared Resource at the Stephenson Cancer Center provides the following services to members and other interested investigators:

  • Specimen procurement for prospective and archived materials
  • Storage of human tissue, blood and other types of specimens
  • Distribution of fresh, frozen and paraffin-embedded specimens to approved investigators
  • Prospective and retrospective annotation of specimens with demographic, pathological staging and clinical information
  • Consultation with designated pathologists and researchers for protocol development and specimen evaluation

Types and availability of samples differ by organ type. Users are encouraged to contact the core for more information. If appropriate specimens are not available in the Biospecimen Bank, Core staff will help facilitate the procurement of specimens from the appropriate sources. The core also supports protocol-driven specimen collection for specific research projects.

About the Core

The Biospecimen and Tissue Pathology Shared Resource was established in 2006 when the Stephenson assumed management of the Dawn Hope Tissue Bank, a large collection of gynecologic tissue samples. Since that time the Core has provided specimen collection, storage and processing services to members and other investigators.

The core’s biospecimen bank currently contains over 30,000 aliquoted samples collected since 2008, including tissue, blood, plasma, serum, cell and buccal samples. The Core utilizes an IRB-approved Universal Consent that allows patients at the Stephenson Cancer Center, OU Physicians or University of Oklahoma Medical Center to donate tissue or blood to the Biospecimen Bank. Over 3,500 patients have consented to participate since 2008. The Core has especially large specimen collections of gynecologic cancers and pancreatic cancer to support research in those disease sites.

The core also provides specimen collection, processing and shipping services to a large and active clinical research program at the Stephenson Cancer Center.

Since 2008 the Core has supported over 300 clinical trials, including large tissue trials such as GOG 136, GOG 210, GOG 221 and NCI’s SUCCEED trial, for which the SCC was the lead tissue site in each. A dedicated PK processing room supports the cancer center's phase I clinical trials program.

In 2012, the Stephenson Cancer Center was selected as a Tissue Source Site for The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Project. TCGA researchers are identifying the genomic changes in more than 20 different types of human cancer. By comparing the DNA in samples of normal tissue and cancer tissue taken from the same patient, researchers can identify changes specific to that particular cancer. By connecting specific genomic changes with specific outcomes, researchers will be able to develop more effective, individualized ways of helping each cancer patient.

Core Information Systems

In conjunction with the Clinical Trials Office, the Biospecimen and Tissue Pathology Shared Resource uses a HIPAA and 21 CFR Part 11 compliant clinical trials management system (Velos eResearch). An integrated specimen inventory system (Velos eSample) is used to catalog banked specimens. Data is stored on a secure server with access limited to key protocol personnel.

Contact Information

Biospeciman Acquisition Core and Bank
P: (405) 271-1688
Main Facility
Floor 4, Biomedical Research Center (BRC)
OU Health Sciences Center
Satellite Facility
Floor 3, Stephenson Cancer Center
OU Health Sciences Center
This location supports the phase I clinical trials program.


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