Human Tissue Sample Blog

Why Normal Blood Samples Are Vital to Genomic Research Today

Posted by Luke Doiron on Mar 15, 2016 8:00:00 AM


Biospecimens such as tissue and blood samples are critical resources for advancing genomic research into the many types of  cancer, Alzheimer's disease, immune disorders, and other diseases. Researchers continue to make strides in unlocking the genetic alterations associated with specific cancers as well as advancing personalized medicine via the DNA sequencing and analysis of a patient's particular cancer tumor. Advanced sequencing techniques now allow researchers to obtain huge amounts of data on the genetic changes that may trigger cancer or other diseases.

The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) is one of the more recognized large-scale genomic research efforts aimed at collecting and analyzing a wide range of carefully-sourced specimens for studying cancer genetics and potential treatments. TCGA has a rigorous set of requirements when seeking samples for its decade-long genomic atlas collection. One of its requirements is that TCGA researchers must have a tumor sample that is paired with a normal secondary sample, preferably a blood specimen, to serve as a normal comparison with the tumor's genome.

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Improving Personalized Medicine in Oncology Research with Biomarkers

Posted by Luke Doiron on Mar 3, 2015 7:37:51 AM


Major investments in basic science have created an opportunity for significant progress in clinical medicine. Researchers have discovered hundreds of genes that harbor variations contributing to human illness, identified genetic variability in patients' responses to dozens of treatments, and begun to target the molecular causes of some diseases. In addition, scientists are developing and using diagnostic tests based on genetics or other molecular mechanisms to better predict patients' responses to targeted therapy.(1)

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The Role of Surrogate Endpoint Biomarkers in Oncology Research

Posted by Luke Doiron on Feb 24, 2015 9:37:56 AM


Biomarkers and surrogate endpoints have an increasingly important role in both cancer research and clinical practice. Biomarkers can be used to assess prognosis and to predict how individual patients will respond to specific treatments, whereas surrogate endpoints potentially enable the effectiveness of new interventions to be assessed more rapidly, and at times with greater accuracy, than classic endpoints (such as survival) in clinical trials. (1)

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Back to Basics: How Biomarkers are Used in Oncology Research

Posted by Luke Doiron on Feb 17, 2015 11:09:00 AM


A biomarker is defined as a quantifiable indicator of a biological, pathological, or therapeutic response process occurring in the human body. It is found in blood, other body fluids and tissues and is particularly helpful for researchers to understand the normal and abnormal processes. Oncology research in particular, focuses on identifying and measuring certain protein and molecular expressions that are associated with neoplasia.

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6 Misconceptions About Using Tissue Samples for Cancer Research

Posted by Rebecca Parker on May 6, 2014 6:44:00 AM


It’s a well-understood fact: the quality of your cancer research arises from the quality of data you collect. This is why access to an ample supply of human tissue specimens is imperative for critical pre-clinical cancer research studies. A well-designed study using top-quality, highly-annotated tissue samples helps guide decisions about potential new cancer therapies or diagnostic tests.

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5 Core Characteristics of Surrogate Endpoint Biomarkers

Posted by Rebecca Parker on Apr 29, 2014 6:00:00 AM


Scientists and clinicians utilize biomarkers everyday – to help diagnose disease, follow a patient’s response to treatment, and conduct research into the core genetic and molecular bases for a wide variety of diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. NIH defines the biomarker as “a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indication of normal biologic processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.”  Biomarkers represent an indirect tool for assessing these processes, versus a direct clinical efficacy measure, such as actual mortality rate post-treatment. They are usually less expensive, faster and easier to measure than a direct endpoint.

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3 Uses of Blood Samples in Cancer Research

Posted by Rebecca Parker on Apr 8, 2014 6:10:00 AM


Blood specimens are invaluable assets in the toolkit of drug discovery researchers. Oncology blood is utilized in a variety of ways, but most frequently as a tool for biomarker study and analysis. Biomarkers, also known as molecular markers, are defined by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as “a biological molecule found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease. A biomarker may be used to test how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition.”  

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Definitive Guide to Oncology Blood Uses in Cancer Research

Posted by Rebecca Parker on Mar 13, 2014 2:45:00 PM


We are pleased to announce the release of The Definitive Guide to Oncology Blood Uses in Cancer Research.  As many of you know, we are a leader in supplying the highest quality human tissue and viable cell samples.  The new E-book focusing on the specific uses and importance of using blood samples in oncology research can be found for free download on our website at:

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