In the Spotlight: Princess Margaret Cancer Biobank

photo of The QIPCM Team

In alignment with 2019-23 UHN research strategic plan, and in order to integrate resources and reduce duplication of efforts, we are excited to announce that the UHN Biobank has rebranded to Princess Margaret Cancer Biobank . The biobank will continue to serve the research community, enabling research that positively impacts clinical management and outcomes.

PMCB was first established in 2001 when different disease site groups, in coordination with UHN pathologists, saw an unmet need. As of today, PMCB has supported over 100 clinical trials ranging from single-site investigator-initiated pilot studies to large-scale industry-sponsored studies. With hundreds of thousands of samples collected, the PMCB is meeting the demands of researchers—at UHN and internationally—that are focused on a wide array of disease areas.

PMCB has an extensive biospecimen inventory to support retrospective oncology studies. Fresh, frozen and fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) surgical resection tissue and biopsies, blood derivatives (serum, plasma, whole blood, peripheral blood mononuclear cells) and various other body fluids (saliva, urine, stool) as well as their associated clinical data are collected in order to drive cutting edge research for the understanding, detection, prevention and ultimately the cure of cancer and other diseases.

Spotlight: Heidi Wager- Head of Operations

PMCB is led by the Medical Director Dr. Neil Fleshner , the Head of Operations Heidi Wagner , and the Scientific Advisor Dr. Hal Berman . Heidi has been spearheading the program since February 2020. With background as an assistant pathologist, and over a decade of experience in leading large centralized biorepositories in both Canada and the United States, she has a unique perspective that allows her to understand both clinical and research requirements and processes. With her team at Princess Margaret Cancer Biobank, she has developed leading edge infrastructure that enables the efficient distribution of high-quality biospecimens to meet expanding demand.

The Future

Building on the UHN national & international reputation as a leading edge research institution, PMCB biobank aims to become a world leader in biobanking activities. By constantly improving, optimizing and streamlining operations, the facility is ensuring efficient biospecimen procurement, banking and distribution to anticipate and meet both local and global research needs.

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