Editor: 

A BIG effort aims to improve translational research sample collection in international trials

Adequate tissue handling is of utmost importance for progress to be made in breast cancer research. Among the many studies under the Breast International Group (BIG) umbrella, translational research has been prioritised, with obligatory tissue collection to enable future clinical and basic research. Recent experience has highlighted, however, that the adoption of good laboratory practices on tissue handling still varies enormously between different laboratories. In a need to re-emphasise the importance of appropriate tissue handling, and to do so with an international perspective, BIG decided to develop clear and user-friendly educational material to provide guidance for handling tissues. This project was realised in collaboration with the Jules Bordet Institute and its pathology laboratory in particular (Brussels, Belgium), thanks to funding obtained from the University of Michigan and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (USA).

The educational material produced by BIG consists of a 10-minute video, a poster and a flyer (the latter in checklist format). They demonstrate step-by-step the most important elements to take into account when handling samples in a laboratory setting: from the optimal documentation and traceability of samples handling to the specificities, advantages and disadvantages of the different freezing methods. Special emphasis is placed on the importance of having optimal documented laboratory practices and adequate traceability throughout the full work flow. Of course the basic processes illustrated in this educational material are not study-specific, and the measures shown can be used in daily practice for any type of study or practice.

The main aim of this project is to achieve a long-term, durable, and optimal implementation of tissue handling procedures, as there is no other choice if the use of tissue material from international trials for translational research is to remain the backbone for progress in breast cancer research.

BIG strongly encourages its members to widely spread this material to their sites, and more specifically to the laboratory staff, which will be able to use the flyer (that lists the main items in checklist format) in their daily practice.

This project targets an international audience and all material is available in 6 languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch and Italian.  

View the videos here (6 languages)

Download the posters here under:

Poster NL Poster GB Poster FR Poster DE Poster IT Poster SP

Download the flyers here under:

Flyer NL Flyer GB Flyer FR Flyer DE Flyer IT Flyer SP