Biobank Donations

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager Emeritus, Oncology, Social Work

JANUARY 03, 2024

Donating to a biobank is a meaningful way to give back and make a difference in the future of healthcare, not just for patients with cancer but for anyone. Biobanks exist to provide biological samples to medical research that spans from cancer and diabetes to Alzheimer’s and Lyme disease – and everything in between. Biobanks accept a variety of samples, including:

  • Blood
  • Saliva
  • Urine
  • Stool
  • Tissue

While healthy tissue donors are always welcome, donations from patients with cancer are especially valuable as they contribute to important research within the field. Donor tissue helps researchers better understand how diseases, including cancer, develop, identify potential genetic and environmental risk factors, and pinpoint specific cells to locate biomarkers. All of this research then leads to the development of new targeted therapies that can change the course of cancer treatment long-term. 

The Cancer Moonshot Biobank is a great example. Founded as part of the National Cancer Institute, the Cancer Moonshot Biobank is a five-year project that seeks to collect tissue from cancer patients undergoing treatment and distribute it to researchers. Patients who donate tissue to the Biobank receive free biomarker tests that can help their doctors make targeted treatment decisions or suggest appropriate clinical trials. A wonderful way to go about collecting specimens for research, donating will tell you more about your cancer, improve cancer care due to diverse participation, and advance our overall understanding of the disease. 

For more information about donating to a biobank, talk to your oncologist or visit the Pathology Research page

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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