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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2002 Nov;11(11):1496-8.

Whole blood cryopreservation in epidemiological studies.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Standardized and cost-effective biological sample collection, processing, and storage procedures are needed in large-scale epidemiological studies to provide material for testing a broad range of etiological hypotheses. One component of sample collection in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial involves shipment of blood in acid-citrate-dextrose anticoagulant to a central processing laboratory, where 10% DMSO is added, and whole blood aliquots are cryopreserved. A single technician is able to routinely process 50-60 samples/day. Tests conducted to evaluate potential uses of cryopreserved whole blood showed successful EBV transformation (>90%, up to 20 months of storage). In addition, lymphocytes maintained good viability and stable T-cell:B-cell ratios, and T cells maintained the capacity to proliferate in response to solid phase anti-CD3/CD28 plus interleukin 2. Whole blood cryopreservation is a cost-effective approach to large-scale storage of viable cells in epidemiological studies.

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