Final report of the BSN “Pre-operative consent project” published

We are pleased to announce the completion of the 2013/14 Biobanking Stakeholder Network project, “Pre-operative consent”. This Cancer Institute NSW-funded project was conducted across four Translational Cancer Research Centres and in eight NSW hospitals*, with the aim of embedding biobanking consent into routine perioperative workflows. In doing so, we sought to better engage hospital staff and increase tissue and data collection from eligible patients.

The project team worked collaboratively to develop a suite of project materials, including patient consent forms and brochures, and promotional and educational materials that supported stakeholder engagement initiatives at hospital sites. The rollout of the consent projects is complete at five sites, with the remaining sites in progress at the time of writing. Two key outcome measures were assessed:

  1. The rate of request for consent (the number of patients who were asked to consent to participate as a proportion of the total number of operations for a malignancy)
  2. The participation rate (the proportion of those patients asked to participate in the biobank who actually agreed).

Participation rates were very high: 99% of patients across all sites who were asked to participate agreed to have their specimens banked and their health data collected.

Rate of request for consent was satisfactory, but significant opportunities for improvement were identified and are under active consideration.

The following aspects had a significant impact on both the participation and request for consent rates for this project:

  • The integration of biobanking consent processes into routine hospital workflows
  • The inclusion of biobanking consent forms in existing hospital documentation
  • The mapping of patient pathways in participating hospital departments to inform when and where consent should be offered
  • The identification of project champions to promote staff engagement
  • The development of ongoing educational activities to keep biobanking initiatives visible to clinical staff.

* Participating organisations TCRCs: Hunter Cancer Research Alliance, Translational Cancer Research Network, Sydney Vital and Sydney Catalyst Hospitals: John Hunter and Calvary Mater Hospitals, Newcastle; Royal Hospital for Women, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Prince of Wales, St George, Royal North Shore and Royal Prince Alfred Hospitals, Sydney

If you are interested in a copy of this report, please click here.

Suggested citation: Meagher N (ed). ‘The Biobanking Stakeholders Network Pre-operative Consent Project 2013-2014’. CINSW BSN, March 2015.

Final report on “Data Management Systems and Practices of the Cancer Institute NSW Biobanking Stakeholder Network” published

We are pleased to announce the submission of A/Prof Kevin Spring’s 2013/14 Biobanking Stakeholder Network project, “Data Management Systems and Practices of the Cancer Institute NSW Biobanking Stakeholder Network” report. The Cancer Institute NSW funded three survey-based projects in 2013/14, which together were tasked with gaining an in-depth understanding of the practices and systems across BSN biobanks, via a comprehensive combined survey.

This report includes comprehensive data management information on all 23 operational cancer biobanks in NSW, and specifically aimed to:

  • Determine what biobanking data management systems are in use across the BSN, and how these are used for data collection, storage and management.
  • Identify the current levels of harmonisation in biobanking data management systems and data collection/management practices across the BSN.
  • Identify minimal IT standards and identify gaps in the application of these and approaches that could address this.
  • Compare and contrast the data fields held by BSN biobanks with the Cancer Australia biospecimen minimal data set, and identify IT approaches that could address any imbalance.
  • Determine the interoperability of the current systems in use and if there is scope for any integration of data sets for the common good.
  • Map the financial and workforce support of BSN biobank data management systems and determine the costs and benefits of implementing more centralised IT/data management approaches and the steps required to implement these.

If you would like a copy of this report, please click here.

Suggested citation:

Christiansen, J.H., Farrell, J.P. and Spring, K.J. ‘Data Management Systems and Practices of the Cancer Institute NSW Biobanking Stakeholder Network’. Sydney. CONCERT Translational Cancer Research Centre. December 2014.

Biobanking Stakeholder Network Symposium

Organisation of this Biobanking Stakeholder Network symposium formed part of the 2014/15 BSN project “Improving Biospecimen Quality within BSN Biobanks”. The symposium was jointly hosted by the Cancer Institute NSW and The University of Sydney for BSN member biobank staff and other interested stakeholders.

The symposium was held on Friday 22nd May, 2015, at the Darlington Centre Conference Room, 174 City Rd, Darlington, The University of Sydney.

It was divided into two sections, with a morning session (Part 1) featuring presentations on ‘Positioning biobanking to meet the 21st century’ and a late morning/afternoon session (Part 2) on biospecimen quality, from the perspective of biobanks and researchers. The day commenced with presentations from the Office for Health and Medical Research, and NSW Health Pathology, followed by Professor Sanchia Aranda, Acting CEO of Cancer Institute NSW. The remainder of the day featured presentations on the three main areas of BSN research, namely patient consent, data linkage, and operations standardisation, and presentations on biospecimen quality from both a biobank and researcher perspective.

The conference program, found here, showcased a day of biobanking presentations, discussions and networking. Presentations from the day have been posted in the resources section of the website.

If you would like more information on this BSN biobanking conference, please email Amanda Rush using details on the contacts page.

2015 ISBER conference

The International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) hosts an annual meeting and exhibits for members, other biobankers, related disciplines and industry representatives. The next meeting will be held in Phoenix, Arizona in May 2015, and provides an opportunity for learning and networking in an international biobanking arena. Session details, costs and abstract/registration closing dates can be found on the ISBER website.

Final report on “Definition of Minimum Standards for CINSW BSN Biobanks” published

We are pleased to announce the completion of A/Prof Jennifer Byrne’s 2013/14 Biobanking Stakeholder Network project, “Definition of Minimum Standards for CINSW BSN Biobanks”. Cancer Institute NSW funded three survey-based projects in 2013/14, which together were tasked with gaining an in-depth understanding of the practices and systems across BSN biobanks, via a comprehensive combined survey. Our survey yielded a large volume of valuable data, and the final project report can be accessed via the icon below.

The report includes collated and analysed data from all 23 operational cancer biobanks in NSW, as well as stated deliverables from the project proposal:

  • Minimal biobank features to assist in the evaluation of feasible networking models for the BSN
  • Guidelines and recommendations to assist new biobanks in their establishment
  • A review and development of recommendations for biobanking best practices to be used in the BSN setting
  • A gap analysis of the current landscape of cancer biobanking in NSW
  • Proposed models of networking suitable for cancer biobanks in NSW

It is our hope that the report will provide useful information for all biobanking stakeholders, guidance for biobanks in their infancy, and solutions to harmonise the NSW cancer biobanking sector.

If you are interested in a copy of this report, please click here.

Suggested citation:

Rush, A. and Byrne, J.A. ‘Definition of Minimum Standards for CINSW BSN Biobanks: Comprehensive survey results and recommendations for standardisation and networking of cancer biobanks in NSW’. Sydney. Kids Cancer Alliance Translational Cancer Research Centre. September 2014.

BSN website goes live!

This website forms part of a project, funded by the Biobanking Stakeholder Network (BSN) for 2014/15 (see the About page for further information on the project). The website is intended to provide details of cancer biobanks in NSW, as well as upcoming biobanking events and resources.

The website will be regularly updated, so please check back for regular project updates and new resources.