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Cancer Collaborative Biobank (CCB)

The Cancer Collaborative Biobank (CCB) stores human biological biospecimens (samples) obtained with consent from patients diagnosed with a haematologic malignancy (blood cancers), for use in research. The CCB is housed at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane.


The purpose of storing samples is to facilitate laboratory based research into haematologic malignancies (eg leukaemias, lymphomas and myelomas, etc).

The function of the CCB is to provide samples from patients with these diseases, for use in approved research projects—thereby facilitating a wide range of research activities.

The ultimate goal of facilitating such research is to improve our understanding of the processes leading to the development of haematologic malignancy, factors which govern the variable response to current treatments and ultimately the development of more effective therapies for patients suffering from haematologic malignancy.


The CCB operates within Metro South Research and is overseen by the CCB Management Committee—made up of haematologists and interested professionals.

The CCB operations have been reviewed and approved by the Metro South Health Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC).  All policies abide by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) ('National Statement').


The CCB is funded by the Metro South Health Study, Education and Research Trust Account (SERTA) Committee until July 2019.

Sample types and time points

All available CCB sample holdings are from consented participants who have been diagnosed with a haematological malignancy. Bone marrow and peripheral blood biospecimens are only obtained when a patient/participant undergoes diagnostic and/or follow-up procedures as part of their specific treatment plan. 

Wherever possible, a selection of sample types are made from the donated bone marrow and peripheral blood (see table below).

Time points where bone marrow and/or peripheral blood are routinely collected on participants include: 

  • diagnosis/baseline (Dx)
  • post induction
  • post consolidation
  • relapse

A participant may have one, some or all time points stored, and may be undergoing either standard treatment for their disease or be enrolled on a specific clinical trial.  


All participant baseline samples registered in the CCB database have a confirmed haematological malignancy and have been classified within the database according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tumours of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissue

CCB samples are standardly processed as per the tables below as follows:

Bone marrow, peripheral blood, processed into vials to:By product:For lab studies, for example:
TrizolRNAGene expression
Cell pelletDNAGenomic studies
Plasma aliquot and/or serumPlasma or serumCytokines, proteomics
Cryopreserved cellsViable cellsCell culture, in vitro drug effects
Other sample types held:By product:For lab studies, for example:
Lymph nodesDNAGenomic studies
Other tissue (site) biopsiesDNAGenomic studies

The above list is not exhaustive—other tissue sources may be collected dependent on specific research requirements (eg CSF, FFPE, saliva, buccal (cheek) cells or hair follicles). Processing methodologies in the CCB have been chosen to ensure highest quality for each sample type.

The above details may require refinement or clarification by direct communication with CCB staff. Please contact the CCB directly to discuss further.

When you contact the CCB, an initial database search is carried out by CCB staff.  This search will provide current patient and sample numbers.  Researchers can narrow this search to be further project specific, by requesting inclusion or exclusion criteria such as specific WHO classifications; specific time points; biospecimen and sample types; and pertinent pathology test results required.

For further detail on specific holdings or for a more comprehensive breakdown of biospecimen /sample types available for research projects please contact the CCB Manager directly.

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply for human biological materials and associated data from the CCB?

  • Step 1: Contact CCB staff to discuss samples contained within the CCB and ascertain that the CCB can fulfil the requirements of the proposed research. Please note that a cost recovery/offset charge will apply and a preliminary quote can be provided at this stage.
  • Step 2: Obtain institutional support and ethical clearance for the research project. If undertaking research in Metro South Health, please review the ethical clearance and research governance authorisation of research processes.
  • Step 3: Complete an application for biobank samples form (DOC, 1.06 MB). This will include confirmation of the researcher’s institutional HREC ethical clearance and the status of funding for the proposed research. The CCB will seek partial cost recovery from sample recipients. Quotes will be provided to researchers at the time of application authorisation utilising a fee schedule based on processing and storage costs, which may be scaled according to the source of the request (commercial entity vs academic). The CCB will also provide a Research Data and Materials Agreement which is used prior to dispatch.
  • Step 4: Lodge the completed application for biobank samples form with the CCB either by email (scanned copy preferred) or by mail. If submitting by email please type in subject line: ‘CCB Researcher Application for Review’.  Sample requests will be processed as they are received and finalised as soon as possible.
  • Step 5: Receive evaluation and recommendations from the CCB Management Committee. It is the intention of the CCB Management Committee to supply all reasonable requests when tissue samples are available to maximise the research yield from these samples.
    • The applicant may wish to lodge a grievance pertaining to applications for samples which are deemed to be duplication of existing work, or are deemed unfeasible or unsuitable by the CCB Scientific Review Panel and/or the CCB Management Committee. Please contact the CCB Manager to discuss further.
  • Step 6: Samples are made available for dispatch.  The samples may undergo extraction and other quality control processes by CCB staff, once a research project has been endorsed as suitable. After this process they are dispatched without delay by courier at the expense of the end-user. Confirmation of receipt will be requested as well as a quality feedback/assessment report (provided at time of dispatch).

What are the CCB’s annual reports and publications requirements?

Researchers are requested to submit annual project update reports and to list any presentations/publications associated with samples supplied for their approved projects within that year. Researchers may be publicised through both internal and external channels (via web pages, conference presentations, poster displays and multimedia displays), as well as via publication in peer-reviewed journals and/or relevant policy documents.  The CCB should be appropriately acknowledged with the wording (detailed within the formal application) in all presentations and publications.

What data will accompany the sample?

Metro South Health has the potential to link samples with an accurate and complete clinical database, through the integrated Electronic Medical Record (iEMR). De-identified samples could be linked to de-identified information for approved research projects. This is an outstanding resource for researchers translating laboratory findings into clinically meaningful data.

Do I need HREC ethical clearance?

Yes, please see the ethical clearance page for more information.

How do I contribute samples to the CCB?

Institutions and other Queensland hospitals who wish to contribute samples the CCB should contact the CCB to discuss further. All institutions collecting tissue from trial and non-trial patients for the CCB must have first had the CCB Participant Information and Consent Form (PICF) approved by their HREC. Please contact the CCB to receive a copy of the PICF.

Last updated 27 February 2020
Last reviewed 17 May 2018