Accessing samples held in the diagnostic archive
The Tissue Bank REC approval also covers issue of samples that have been obtained with diagnostic intent, but are leftover from the diagnostic purpose. This includes paraffin blocks from histopathology and leftover blood samples. This material can be used in research without patient consent, providing the samples are de-identified before being issued to researchers.
The Tissue Bank has REC approval to issue samples from the diagnostic archive for research. Applications can now be made elctronically via the Tissue Bank database. If you are already registered as a user of the database you will see "Apply for access to samples" on the left hand side menu bar. Click on this to start your application. If you are not yet a registered user, please email the Tissue Bank to obtain a user name and password.
Applications are reviewed by an Application Review Panel, which usually takes between 7-21 days. The purpose of the review is to ensure that the samples are put to good scientific use. Following approval of the application, the reasearcher is deemed to have ethics approval from the Wales REC3 committee fo their project. This means that researchers using the Tissue Bank material do not have to submit their own IRAS (Integrated Research System Application) form.
Where samples are to be sent to third parties as part of the research, this must be specifed in the protocol. Researchers must sign a Material and Data Transfer Agreement (MDTA), when requesting access to material. Occasionally, ICHTB receives requests from researchers where the research is exclusively to be carried out by a third party. The final recipient of the samples is then requested to sign the MDTA, rather than the Imperial based Principal Investigator.