Frequently Asked Questions

The Wales Cancer Biobank is a project that aims to collect samples of blood and tissue from patients throughout Wales. These samples will then be “banked” in our laboratories until requested by researchers for ongoing research into the development of more effective, targeted treatments for cancer. Click here to view a short video about our biobank.

Patients in Wales who are having operations where cancer is a possible diagnosis are being approached and asked if they would consider donating some of the tissue removed during the operation, which might be left over after diagnosis and normally thrown away.

You personally will not benefit, however the results of the research using your samples and those from other donors may benefit cancer patients in the future.

No. The Wales Cancer Biobank will only use tissue that a pathologist has deemed surplus to diagnostic requirements, i.e. material that would normally be discarded after a diagnosis is made. The NHS laboratory will maintain samples within their own archive for extra diagnostics in the future and will advise us if there is insufficient tissue remaining for research purposes.

No. The surgeon takes the required amount of tissue that they would normally. The Wales Cancer Biobank only has any material that proves to be excess to diagnostic requirements.

Much like your DNA contains the building blocks of who you are, it can also tell us a lot about how cancer behaves. Analysing DNA allows scientists to research what therapies may be more beneficial in fighting the disease – including targeted treatments with potentially fewer side effects. This targeted approach means patients are more likely to receive treatments that are beneficial to treating their cancer rather than receiving more treatments that may be less successful.

No. Your samples will not be sold for profit to other researchers. However, your samples may be used for research that may lead to the development of new drugs or treatments. The research may be carried out in Universities or in companies interested in cancer research and drug development.

The Wales Cancer Biobank will not be “testing” your samples, merely storing it for future research. Your hospital doctor will be performing certain tests on the blood samples taken routinely, connected with your operation, they will discuss the findings with you. You can find more information about the return of research results here.

Yes. All information about you is anonymised.

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