Tissue Banks

Our laboratory also plays a role in the support of clinical trial related activities. We have expertise in the collection and processing of bone marrow and peripheral blood samples that can be used for cell culture, drug testing and genetic ascertainment in support of correlative science. With this expertise, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale is home to two tissue banks, one of which is funded by the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) Each bank is state-of-the-art in integrating patient samples and corresponding genomic and clinical data. Both tissue banks have integrated into being Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliant which allows all samples to receive identical procedures. In order for the banks to be GLP compliant, Standard Operating Procedures and Policies (SOP’s) need to be in place. There are 65 SOP’s that govern every aspect of how the tissue banks does its daily operations. The SOP’s range from temperature controls on all storage freezers to tracking controls on all of the samples that have been received.

The MMRC bank has received well over 870 samples from 14 contributing sites from the United States and Canada. Most of the samples have matching bone marrow and peripheral blood pairs and are shipped overnight to Mayo Clinic Scottsdale. The sites are Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, University Health Network, Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University, University of Chicago, St. Vincent’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, Ohio State University, Roswell Park Cancer Center, City of Hope, and Washington University. The bank saves plasma from the bone marrow and blood, mononuclear cells from the blood, a sample of the unsorted white blood cells from the bone marrow, and then the 138+/- samples from after the sort.

To obtain the 138+/- samples, the white blood cells from the bone marrow will be placed into a Robosep, which is a magnetic bead sorter with monoclonal antibodies that are specific to the CD 138+ antibodies on the cancer cells’ surface. The positive cells are attracted to the magnet that is in the Robosep and are left in the tube during the wash out of the negative cells. This whole process of separating the different cells from the bone marrow and blood takes roughly 3 hours to complete per sample. Some of the cells that have been stored are now being used in collaboration with Tgen.

The future of the Tissue Bank is very bright. Talks are in place to start a Tissue Bank in Nantes, France. This proposed Tissue Bank will model the one at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale and will serve to create the same collaborative research in Europe.