About the Tissue Bank

Leading the way in breast cancer biobanking

The Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank provides high-quality, ethically-collected biomaterials and data from breast cancer patients and individuals without breast cancer. 

The Tissue Bank was developed in response to our first gap analysis of breast cancer research1, which identified that the main barrier to progress was a shortage of good-quality tissue. The Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank provides the breadth of materials needed for breast cancer research, ranging from serum samples, through frozen and fixed tissue samples to isolated breast cell populations. We help the research community to raise the standard of breast cancer research and facilitate the coordinated translation of scientific findings into the clinical setting.
The Tissue Bank’s open-access bioinformatics portal allows researchers to identify studies similar to their own, provides a sophisticated data mining tool, and allows users to easily perform simple, but relevant, bioinformatics analyses on publicly available datasets.

Already making an impact

The Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank opened to researchers in the UK and Ireland in 2012 following a successful pilot year. We currently have 37,000 samples from around 9,000 patients available to researchers. Over 7,500 samples have been used in or allocated to research projects. The Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank has been presented at numerous national and international conferences either as posters, abstracts or during sessions. These conferences include:

  • the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (2011, 2013) 
  • the International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference (2013)
  • the National Cancer Research Institute Annual Conference (2011, 2013)
  • the Irish Association for Cancer Research (2013)
  • the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories conference
    (2013, 2014)
  • Biobanking, London (2014)
  • the European Breast Cancer Conference (2014). 

To see the published papers relating to the Bank visit the resources section.

Where are the Tissue Bank Centres?

Five leading research institutions are part of the Tissue Bank. All centres are licensed by the Human Tissue Authority. The bank has ethical approval from National Research Ethics Service.

Find out what collections we have available and search and apply.

If you are a patient and want to find out about donating to the Tissue Bank visit our main website.

1. Thompson A, Brennan K, Cox A, Gee J, Harcourt D, Harris A, Harvie M, Holen I, Howell A, Nicholson R, Steel M, Streuli C. Evaluation of the current knowledge limitations in breast cancer research: a gap analysis. Breast Cancer Research 2008;10(2):R26.