Almost a week has passed since the Europe Biobank Week 2021, and yet we are still impressed! We have attended great lectures, in which the speakers approached the topic of biobanking from different perspectives. Our top highlights: 

Prof. Sherene Loi from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre stressed the role of biobanking in enabling innovative translational and clinical research, aiming to improve the prognosis of breast cancer patients. High quality of the samples is of the highest importance in such research since their results are to support the right medical treatment guidelines.

The block of lectures on Biological Quality in Biobanking was also engaging. Christiane Hartfeldt from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin / German Biobank Node and Sabrina Schmitt from BioMaterialBank Heidelberg discussed the importance of sustaining the high quality of the specimens and data generated by controlled and standardized procedures. Regular and scrupulous audits remain a very effective tool not only to identify deviations but also to support the constant improvement of internal biobank processes.

Undoubtedly our top session was the Biobanking in Personalized Medicine, which provided many excellent examples from the entire Europe. Prof. William Cookson from Imperial College London and ETOP presented how biobanking enabled conducting translational research contributing to advanced personalized medicine, showcased by the ETOP ABC-lung Clinical Trial.

Prof. Ioannis Ragoussis from McGill University presented the biobanking and clinical data collection workflow named “Oncodrive”, which serves for cooperation between academic and medical institutions specialized in oncology. The purpose of this invention is to achieve personalized cancer patient care, based on genetic information being interpreted by researchers and clinicians.

Despite variable approaches and experiences, whether it is about monitoring the impact of toxic chemicals on human health, or research on advanced personalized medicine on breast cancer, biobanking seems to be almost mandatory. 

We were delighted to listen to the representatives of the biggest worldwide biobanking organizations, such as WHO, BBMRI, ESBB, who shared their experience of multicenter samples collection and research. Impressed by their experience in collecting diverse biosamples, from blood and urine to viral and microbiome collections, we are motivated to improve our biobank and make it accessible to patients and researchers. The speakers emphasized that biobanks are necessary for clinical trials and highlighted the importance of WGS and genome analysis in cancer patient care.