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Biopreserv Biobank. 2014 Apr;12(2):148-50. doi: 10.1089/bio.2013.0091.

National Cancer Institute Biospecimen Evidence-Based Practices: a novel approach to pre-analytical standardization.

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1 Preferred Staffing Group, Arlington, Virginia.


Variable biospecimen collection, processing, and storage practices may introduce variability in biospecimen quality and analytical results. This risk can be minimized within a facility through the use of standardized procedures; however, analysis of biospecimens from different facilities may be confounded by differences in procedures and inferred biospecimen quality. Thus, a global approach to standardization of biospecimen handling procedures and their validation is needed. Here we present the first in a series of procedural guidelines that were developed and annotated with published findings in the field of human biospecimen science. The series of documents will be known as NCI Biospecimen Evidence-Based Practices, or BEBPs. Pertinent literature was identified via the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Biospecimen Research Database ( ) and findings were organized by specific biospecimen pre-analytical factors and analytes of interest (DNA, RNA, protein, morphology). Meta-analysis results were presented as annotated summaries, which highlight concordant and discordant findings and the threshold and magnitude of effects when applicable. The detailed and adaptable format of the document is intended to support the development and execution of evidence-based standard operating procedures (SOPs) for human biospecimen collection, processing, and storage operations.

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