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Biopreserv Biobank. 2013 Dec;11(6):387-96. doi: 10.1089/bio.2013.0061. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Generating a comprehensive set of standard operating procedures for a biorepository network-The CTRNet experience.

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1 CancerCare Manitoba , Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada .


Despite the integral role of biorepositories in fueling translational research and the advancement of medicine, there are significant gaps in harmonization of biobanking practices, resulting in variable biospecimen collection, storage, and processing. This significantly impacts accurate downstream analysis and, in particular, creates a problem for biorepository networks or consortia. The Canadian Tumour Repository Network (CTRNet; ) is a consortium of Canadian tumor biorepositories that aims to enhance biobanking capacity and quality through standardization. To minimize the issue of variable biobanking practices throughout its network, CTRNet has developed and maintained a comprehensive set of 45 standard operating procedures (SOPs). There were four key elements to the CTRNet SOP development process: 1) an SOP development team was formed from members across CTRNet to co-produce each SOP; 2) a principal author was appointed with responsibility for overall coordination of the SOP development process; 3) the CTRNet Management Committee (composed of principal investigators for each member biorepository) reviewed/revised each SOP completed by the development team; and 4) external expert reviewers provided feedback and recommendations on each SOP. Once final Management Committee approval was obtained, the ratified SOP was published on the CTRNet website for public access. Since the SOPs were first published on the CTRNet website (June 2008), there have been approximately 15,000 downloads of one or more CTRNet SOPs/Policies by users from over 60 countries. In accordance with biobanking best practices, CTRNet performs an exhaustive review of its SOPs at set intervals, to coincide with each granting cycle. The last revision was completed in May 2012.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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