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Int Braz J Urol. 2010 May-Jun;36(3):348-54.

Tumor banks: the cornerstone of basic research in urology.

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Laboratory of Medical Investigation, School of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.



Tumor banks have the primary responsibility for collecting, cataloging, storing and disseminating samples of tissues, cells and fluids, which are used by researchers to identify diagnostic molecular markers, prognostic indicators and therapeutic targets. The objective of this review was to describe a simple, reliable and reproducible protocol for obtaining and storing samples of urological tumors.


Urogenital tumor tissues were collected by the surgeons from the Urology Division of University of Sao Paulo Medical School. The obtained surgical specimens were immediately placed in liquid nitrogen, dry ice or in a tube containing RNAlater, and then stored by cryopreservation (-80 degrees C). A mirror fragment was fixed in 10% formalin processed routinely and embedded in Paraplast.


We developed a protocol for the collection, cataloging, storage, conservation and use of tumor samples. During a period of one year the Urological Tumor Bank of the Urology Division stored 274 samples of prostate, bladder, kidney, penis and testicle tumors of different histological types, 74 urine and 271 serum samples.


Having biological materials characterized and available along with the clinical patient information provides an integrated portrait of the patients and their diseases facilitating advances in molecular biology. It also promotes the development of translational research improving methods of diagnosis and cancer treatment.

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