Creating a new biobanking ecosystem of interlinking niches to drive breast cancer research for patient benefit

The new structure of the Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank (BCNTB) has created a biobanking ecosystem with patient benefit at its core. The components of this system are linked programmatically to ensure seamless bidirectional flow of specimen, clinical and molecular information (Figure 1).

All BCNTB data is stored on a dedicated secure server running REDCap systems developed to manage both data (clinical and sample) collected from BCNTB sites and all aspects of the researcher request process (tissue and data).

Before applying for specimens, researchers are encouraged to explore the available data via the Analytics Hub and Sample Finder. The BCNTB recognises the value of longitudinal specimen collection, dynamic clinical updates and data return. Providing researchers with high quality and well-annotated specimens and the resources required to conduct complex, multi-dimensional, studies will ensure that data of the highest calibre is generated by BCNTB projects.

The BCNTB Analytics Hub is a component of the biobanking ecosystem from which researchers can query and analyse both BCNTB data and data from large-scale publicly available projects. The Hub can be used as a stand-alone tool to query or validate findings, offering an unparalleled opportunity to add informative layers of molecular data to existing patient data available, or as a part of the tissue request process.