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Pathol Int. 2018 Feb;68(2):63-90. doi: 10.1111/pin.12631.

The Japanese Society of Pathology Guidelines on the handling of pathological tissue samples for genomic research: Standard operating procedures based on empirical analyses.

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Department of Pathology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Translational Pathology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.
Molecular Pathology and Genetics Division, Kanagawa Cancer Center Research Institute, Yokohama, Japan.
Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Kyoto University Hospital, Kyoto, Japan.
Department of Pathology, National Kyushu Cancer Center, Fukuoka, Japan.
Department of Genomic Pathology, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Pathology, Institute of Basic Medical Science, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan.
Fundamental Innovative Oncology Core, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan.
The Japanese Society of Pathology, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Pathology, Hokuto Hospital, Obihiro, Japan.
Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Bioresource Research Center, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Anatomic Pathology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


Genome research using appropriately collected pathological tissue samples is expected to yield breakthroughs in the development of biomarkers and identification of therapeutic targets for diseases such as cancers. In this connection, the Japanese Society of Pathology (JSP) has developed "The JSP Guidelines on the Handling of Pathological Tissue Samples for Genomic Research" based on an abundance of data from empirical analyses of tissue samples collected and stored under various conditions. Tissue samples should be collected from appropriate sites within surgically resected specimens, without disturbing the features on which pathological diagnosis is based, while avoiding bleeding or necrotic foci. They should be collected as soon as possible after resection: at the latest within about 3 h of storage at 4°C. Preferably, snap-frozen samples should be stored in liquid nitrogen (about -180°C) until use. When intending to use genomic DNA extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue, 10% neutral buffered formalin should be used. Insufficient fixation and overfixation must both be avoided. We hope that pathologists, clinicians, clinical laboratory technicians and biobank operators will come to master the handling of pathological tissue samples based on the standard operating procedures in these Guidelines to yield results that will assist in the realization of genomic medicine.


biobank; empirical analysis; genome research; pathological tissue sample; sample collection and storage

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