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Lung Cancer International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 765748, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/765748
Research Article

National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank: A Platform for Collaborative Research and Mesothelioma Biobanking Resource to Support Translational Research

1Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
3Department of Pathology, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
4Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA
5Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
6Department of Pathology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA
7Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA

Received 9 May 2013; Revised 12 August 2013; Accepted 12 August 2013

Academic Editor: Giovanni Luca Ceresoli

Copyright © 2013 Waqas Amin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank (NMVB), developed six years ago, gathers clinically annotated human mesothelioma specimens for basic and clinical science research. During this period, this resource has greatly increased its collection of specimens by expanding the number of contributing academic health centers including New York University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Marketing efforts at both national and international annual conferences increase awareness and availability of the mesothelioma specimens at no cost to approved investigators, who query the web-based NMVB database for cumulative and appropriate patient clinicopathological information on the specimens. The data disclosure and specimen distribution protocols are tightly regulated to maintain compliance with participating institutions’ IRB and regulatory committee reviews. The NMVB currently has over 1120 annotated cases available for researchers, including paraffin embedded tissues, fresh frozen tissue, tissue microarrays (TMA), blood samples, and genomic DNA. In addition, the resource offers expertise and assistance for collaborative research. Furthermore, in the last six years, the resource has provided hundreds of specimens to the research community. The investigators can request specimens and/or data by submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI) that is evaluated by NMVB research evaluation panel (REP).