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Biobanks are collections of tissue and medical information donated by patients for medical research, so that we learn more about how diseases start and progress. From this information, new drugs and tests can be developed to help tailor treatment to individual patients.
We aim to ask all patients who attend Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, with a possible or confirmed diagnosis of cancer, if they would agree (consent) for the biobank to store surplus, or left-over, tissue removed at surgery. We would also like a small blood sample and sometimes a urine or saliva sample. We may also ask some patients who do not have cancer if they would also donate some samples as these are also extremely useful.
Sometimes, where drug treatment may be given very soon after diagnosis, we ask for an extra piece of tissue for the biobank. The tissue is removed at the same time as pieces are taken for diagnosis. It means that we can compare tissue from before and after treatment.