Collection and Processing


Patient biospecimen collection is dictated by trial protocol. The use of biospecimens is governed by the informed consent in place at the time the patient entered the given clinical trial. Biospecimen collection parameters (e.g., types collected, timing, amount) are defined at the time of clinical trial development and documented in the protocol. All samples that are collected are given a unique sample ID to help protect the privacy of all study participants.

Biospecimens (e.g., archival FFPE blocks or slides, frozen tissue, blood) are typically collected by NCTN member hospitals and affiliated institutions, including NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) research sites, and then submitted to the respective NCTN Bank.

Study specific collection kits may be provided by the NCTN Banks, particularly for collection of body fluids (e.g., blood, urine) and/or derivatives (e.g., serum, plasma) and frozen tissue. Biospecimen collection kits are designed to best collect and preserve biospecimens at designated optimal conditions for transport.

Clinical, treatment, and outcome data linked to the NCTN Banks biospecimens are stored in the Statistics and Data Management Centers (SDMCs) of the NCTN Groups.

Processing & Storage

When applicable, site processing and storage procedures are detailed in the protocol or supplemental documentation for which biospecimens were collected. Upon receipt by the NCTN Bank(s), biospecimens are processed and stored according to the best practices guidelines.