Standards and Protocols

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) used by the IARC Biobank

Common Minimum Technical Standards and Protocols for Biobanks Dedicated to Cancer Research

IARC Technical Publication No. 44

IARC 2017

101 pages

Print Book


Biobanking has developed at a rapid pace in recent years, initiated by the drive for personalized medicine, the need for high-quality biological resources and associated data for scientific research, and technological advancement of analytical platforms for molecular and genetic research.

This book includes guidelines and recommendations for biobanks not only in high-income countries but also in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The recommendations are based on validated and/or evidence-based guidelines.

The book also includes sections on sample sharing, ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI), and harmonization guidelines important to support collaborative research efforts that make use of biological materials. In particular, the section on open access deals with the principles of sharing and provides recommendations for biobanks in relation to sample and data sharing, which is key to establishing research collaboration. The section on governance provides guidelines on governance structures and standard templates for biobanks for a transparent and effective running of the facilities.

This book also benefits from the experience and knowledge gained by IARC from coordinating the LMICs Biobank and Cohort Building Network (BCNet) and managing an international biobank, which contains diverse collections of specimens and data drawn from studies across the world, including the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) collection.

Authors: Maimuna Mendy, Elodie Élodie Caboux, Rita T. Lawlor, Jessica Wright, and Christopher P. Wild

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