Helping advance cancer care with a leading-edge tumor bank.

In addition to Phase I clinical trials and state-of-the-art cancer treatment, the START Center proves its commitment to the advancement of cancer care through its tumor bank. In simplified terms, a tumor bank is where cancer tissues — acquired through biopsy, with patients’ full consent — are held and made available to cancer researchers. Here at START, however, our tumor bank operates a bit differently, with an eye toward accelerated progress toward the cure.

Broadening researchers’ access to cancer tissue samples.

Today, the vast majority of tumor banks are confined to academic settings at universities, where the tissue samples are made available to the researchers at that particular institution. But at the START Center for Cancer Care, we know that the vast majority of development of anti-cancer drugs takes place outside of this sort of setting, by researchers in the biotech industry, at pharmaceutical companies and in non-profit and charitable institutes.

The mission of our tumor bank is to make tumor specimens available not just to academic researchers but to all who are actively engaged in cancer research, wherever they may be. This is because our goal is not just a new era of cancer treatment, but to accelerate the discovery and development of new agents for treating and curing cancer. In this way, our tumor bank allows us to play a direct role in developing a better understanding of the biology of cancer by helping a wide swath of those who are engaged in the discovery of new therapies.

How the tumor bank works with Phase I clinical trials.

START Center for Cancer Care’s tumor bank is part of the Pharmacokinetic (PK) Department, which processes and ships all of our samples for our Phase I clinical trials. During skin and tumor biopsies, a PK Department team member is present in order to immediately process the tissue sample for the clinical trial, eliminating delays and helping ensure maximum efficiency and priority. For consenting patients, samples of the biopsied tissue are also “banked” at the tumor bank and stored for future use by researchers in their quest to improve treatment and help cure cancer.

For more information about the START Center’s tumor bank or clinical trials program, or to schedule an appointment, call 210-745-6841. You can also request an appointment using our easy online form.