Biobank

Biobank Procure EN

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Why Establish a Biological Bank?

To date, the known risk factors for prostate cancer include increasing age, ethnic background and a prostate cancer diagnosis in other family members. However, the majority of diagnosed cases have no known risk factors. Other dietary, environmental, genetic and social factors have all been found to play a role in disease progression, but knowledge at present is still very limited. With respect to development, disease spread and death, prostate cancer manifests and progresses in many different ways not well understood and therefore the disease cannot often be discovered at early stage and therefore prevented.

Research is advancing, albeit slowly. At the current pace of discovery within the current research norms and conventions, identification of risk factors and interventions to prevent the disease and its progression are decades away. There are already foundations and government agencies beginning to provide increased research dollars for prostate cancer, which is a positive development. However, beyond this kind of support, there is an urgent need to re-examine the ways in which meaningful research can be translated into practice far more quickly than it has been to-date.

No discoveries can achieve their full impact without the use of human material. Successful discoveries in the lab and in animals over many years often lead to failure once tested on humans. Even if they succeed in humans, without large banks of human material, the process from laboratory discovery to clinical practice can take decades. The availability of a bank can literally shorten the development process from 10 years to only a few months or years. Blood tests for cancer, such as PSA for prostate cancer, CA 125 for ovarian cancer and CEA for colon cancer, have taken more than 10 years after initial discovery to become clinically employed. These slow processes were at least partly due to the lack of comprehensive banks of material for these cancers.

Furthermore, with biotechnology progressing at an extraordinary rate today, the pace of discovery can increase to a degree never previously imagined. Upon the success of the human genome project, the new fields of genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics promise an unprecedented advancement in the knowledge of life processes. However, these advances cannot lead to medical breakthroughs without the significant numbers of the biological material and information needed to apply the biotechnological tools.

PROCURE proposes to enable the collection and storage of standardized high volumes of prostatic tissues, blood, urine, clinical information and socio-demographic data from men undergoing prostate cancer screening and surgery across the province of Quebec and facilitate access to these resources. Informed consent, upholding full confidentiality, will be sought from the thousands of men already undergoing prostate biopsies and radical prostatectomies in Quebec each year. Quebec is an ideal location to conduct this initiative with its diverse ethnic groups and low migration. The low migration will allow for repeated follow-up with individuals. This large collection of biospecimen and information will be used for biochemical and genetic analysis with great statistical power and will facilitate learning about the manifestation and progression of prostate cancer over time. Additional benefits include the acceleration of clinical trials, better prevention, earlier detection and diagnosis, the development of personalized medicine, more efficacious treatment, and follow-up care.

  • In particular, the French-Canadian (FC) population is an ideal founder population from which to collect for the Biobank:
  • Originates from 2,600 founders who arrived from France 12-16 generations ago, between 1608 and 1760
  • French immigration essentially ceased after this time
  • Higher degree of genetic homogeneity (The current FC population is largest genetically homogeneous localized founder population worldwide)
  • Fewer variations for known disease genes

The power of the PROCURE Québec Prostate Cancer Biobank (the “Biobank”) will be realized once the scientific community has the opportunity to access it. Once established, PROCURE will make the Biobank materials and information available to the global scientific community to facilitate the implementation of studies at an accelerated pace. This can realistically be achieved within only a few years of development.


Goals

The Biobank aims to collect, process, and store the highest quality biological materials (prostate tissue, blood and urine) and related comprehensive information from men with prostate cancer and those at risk over time, to make available for the widest possible range of clinically meaningful prostate cancer research. The overarching goal of the Biobank is to increase the quality of patient care and accelerate the impact of research on such care. It will implement the highest standards of biological banking to provide outstanding clinical, medical, demographic and analytic data through the use of upfront broad consent forms.

The Biobank aims to collect, process, and store the highest quality biological materials (prostate tissue, blood and urine) and related comprehensive information from men with prostate cancer and those at risk over time, to make available for the widest possible range of clinically meaningful prostate cancer research. The overarching goal of the Biobank is to increase the quality of patient care and accelerate the impact of research on such care. It will implement the highest standards of biological banking to provide outstanding clinical, medical, demographic and analytic data through the use of upfront broad consent forms.


Structure

The Biobank is a collaborative organization with long term partnerships established between PROCURE, the four Québec universities, with the Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec and other key groups to be confirmed over time. The Biobank will have its own Scientific and Lay Advisory Board and staff including both management and operations resources. The world class Scientific and Lay Advisory Board will oversee the accomplishment of the long-term scientific goals of the Biobank and will establish new goals and initiatives over time. As the Biobank will act as a guardian of biological materials and data, strict policies, procedures and appropriate controls will be developed and put in place according to worldwide best practices. Adherence to these practices will insure that high quality scientific data is generated downstream.

The overarching basis for tissue and material distribution will be a merit based review system, whereby research proposals submitted will be regularly reviewed for selection by the Biomaterials Use Committee comprised of representatives from the universities, PROCURE and other stakeholder communities.

The Biobank is governed by the Biobank Central Committee, made up of representatives from each of the four university health centres, PROCURE Board members, Biobank management and chaired by Dr. Armen Aprikian of the MUHC. The Biobank Central Committee reports directly to the PROCURE Board of Directors. The current committee members are the following:

  • Armen Aprikian, M.D., Chairman, Principal Investigator for McGill University
  • Cédric Bisson, M.D., L.L. B., PROCURE Board member
  • Michel Carmel, M.D., Principal Investigator for Université de Sherbrooke
  • Laurent Proulx, General Manager
  • Louis Lacombe, M.D., Principal Investigator for Université Laval
  • Anne-Marie Mes-Masson, Ph.D., FRSQ
  • Fred Saad, M.D., Principal Investigator for Université de Montréal