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Oncology biobank offers research hope


Scientists hope to speed up the progress of developments in oncology with the launch of a UK biobank to house cancerous tissue for research purposes.

Patients in several NHS hospitals can now opt to donate samples of their tumour and blood to the onCore UK biobank.

Investigators will be able to apply to use these samples to better understand how cancers work and to develop new pharmaceutical treatments.

Funded by charity Cancer Research UK and the UK’s Department of Health and Medical Research Council, onCore UK will help meet the growing need for patient samples.

The national bank will provide a secure route for cancer patients to contribute to research.

Dr Brian Clark, onCore UK’s chief executive, said aim was to help facilitate cancer research in the UK while meeting the desire to help expressed by people with cancer.

“Many patients want to do something to support research into their disease, and to help others in the future,” he said.

“OnCore UK can help people with cancer do this by providing them with an accessible and ethically-approved way of donating samples and data.

“And they can do this safe in the knowledge that their donation will be stored securely, and made available quickly to researchers throughout the country who can demonstrate how the samples can help their research.”

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