What should myeloma patients know about the IMF's virtual tissue bank?
What is the IMF's virtual tissue bank?
Myeloma expert Dr. Brian G.M. Durie discusses the virtual biobank being developed by the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG).
The BOTTOM LINE: The virtual tissue bank is a major development that will enhance collaborative research studies in sync with clinical trials and other outcomes.
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This week's "Ask Dr. Durie" comes from a patient who has been watching some different IMF videos and has come across the terminology "virtual tissue bank" and wants to know; "well, what in the world is a virtual tissue bank?"
This is a very good question about what is a rather important development. Over the years in the myeloma community, we've tried to share samples and send samples from one lab to another. This has been very difficult for the quality of the samples and variations in the testing.
And so, this new idea is to allow blood and bone marrow samples to be tested at the local center at the local hospital or university center, so the results can be gathered right there on the spot and the samples are stored right there without being Fedex'd somewhere with the uncertainty of arriving in good shape or not.
The idea of the virtual tissue bank is to then have the data from all of these different sites. With this virtual tissue bank, there has been huge enthusiasm and centers from all around the world have signed up to participate in this new tissue bank. And so, data are entered into the computer data bank and stored and then can be shared from all of these centers all around the world to analyze the results of the testing of different immune testing or genetic molecular testing related to what's happened in a particular clinical trial or just to look at the outcomes as correlated with this very specialized testing.
And so, The BOTTOM LINE is that a virtual a tissue bank which is now getting up and running as a global initiative is, really, a very important new development which will allow us to look more carefully at what we call correlative signs — what are the results of receptor analysis for BCMA on the surface of myeloma? In all of these different centers and linked to the outcomes of different trials or just to the outcomes overall and so a very exciting new development.
Professor of Medicine, Hematologist/Oncologist, and Honoree MD at the University of Brussels, Dr. Brian G.M. Durie is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Scientific Officer of the IMF. Dr. Durie is also the Chairman of the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG)—a consortium of more than 250 myeloma experts from around the world—and leads the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI).