Effects of Preanalytical Variables on the Quality of Biospecimens Used to Study Genetic Changes in Cancer

Development of the Biospecimen Research Database

by Elisa Eiseman


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The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research (OBBR) asked the RAND Corporation to identify and analyze existing data on the effects of preanalytical variables on biospecimens used to study genetic and proteomic changes in cancer. The project was broken down into three phases. This documented briefing, which focuses on work conducted during the first year of this project, describes the process used to identify and analyze data on the effects of preanalytical variables on biospecimens used to study genetic and proteomic changes in cancer. It provides details on the development of the Biospecimen Research Database, a data-curation tool developed to provide a standardized way of consistently recording data on the effects of preanalytical variables, and summarizes the findings of the first phase of the study. This documented briefing is based on the briefing given to OBBR on September 27, 2007, and provides OBBR with a framework for analyzing the effects of preanalytical variables on various biospecimen types, research questions, and analytic methods. The ultimate goal of the database is to provide information to OBBR and the scientific community that will optimize the quality, accessibility, and utility of biospecimens for research purposes.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Developing the Data-Curation Tool

  • Chapter Three

    Literature-Search Strategies to Identify Studies on the Effects of Preanalytical Variables

  • Chapter Four

    Data Analysis and Study Results

  • Chapter Five

    Challenges and Next Steps

  • Appendix

    Reference List for Papers Analyzed in the Biospecimen Research Database

This research was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and was conducted under the auspices of the Transportation, Space, and Technology (TST) Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment (ISE).

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