A unique resource for well-annotated cancer clinical trial biospecimens to enable biomarker discovery and improve cancer treatment.
Who We Are
The National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) Biospecimen Banks (NCTN Biobanks) receive, store, and distribute human biospecimens collected on NCTN clinical trials. NCTN Biobanks provide cancer researchers with quality, well-annotated biospecimens with associated clinical information. Requests for NCTN Biospecimens from completed NCTN clinical trials may be submitted by investigators in the research community, not only members of the NCTN Groups.
About the NCTN Biobanks
THE NCTN Biobanks receive, store, and distribute biospecimens for the five NCTN Groups as well as the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG):
Collectively, the NCTN Biobanks house solid tumor biospecimens from all organ types, as well as hematological malignancies.
Biospecimen types available include, but are not limited to:
- Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue
- Fresh frozen tissue
- Whole blood, serum, plasma, white blood cells, bone marrow and cells
- Nucleic acids
- Urine, stool
- Digital Images from H&E or IHC stained slides
Notable publications illustrating the important scientific contributions resulting from the use of NCTN Biobank resources.
Publication from NRG Oncology
This paper reports the first validated predictive biomarker test that can identify which patients can avoid, and those most likely to get benefit from adding antiandrogens to their radiation therapy for prostate cancer. The test is based on an artificial intelligence image analysis (AIIA) algorithm developed using digital images from 16,277 H&E slides from 5727 patients enrolled on 5 NRG Trials; RTOG-9202, RTOG-9408, RTOG-9413, RTOG-9910, RTOG-0126, and is an expansion of prior work done with this set of patients’
Publication from Children's Oncology Group
Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma of childhood. Despite aggressive therapy, the 5-year survival rate for patients with metastatic or recurrent disease remains poor, and beyond PAX-FOXO1 fusion status, no genomic markers are available for risk stratification. This publication addresses the largest genomic characterization of clinically annotated rhabdomyosarcoma tumors to date and provides prognostic genetic features that refine risk stratification and will be incorporated into prospective trials.
Publication from ECOG-ACRIN
This study reports the discovery of somatic mutations in the chemokine gene CCL22 as the hallmark of a distinct subset of Chronic lymphoproliferative disorder of natural killer cells (CLPD-NK). Somatic CCL22 mutations illustrate a unique mechanism of tumor formation in which gain-of-function chemokine mutations promote tumorigenesis by biased GPCR signaling and dysregulation of microenvironmental crosstalk. Acute NK leukemia samples were provided by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group.
Publication from Alliance
In this predictive prognostic study in which a combined correlative analysis of the CALGB (Alliance) 40601 and PAMELA trials was conducted, 305 patients with early-stage ERBB2/HER2-positive breast cancer, 6 B-cell–related signatures were more strongly associated with pathologic complete response than were tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. In a multivariable Cox model performed in the CALGB 40601 trial, the immunoglobulin G signature, but not tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, was independently associated with event-free survival. These findings suggest that when both tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and gene expression analysis results are available, the prognostic and predictive value of RNA sequencing–based immune signatures is superior.
Publication from SWOG
The prognostic role of stromal tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (sTILs) and DNA Damage Immune Response (DDIR) in early-stage Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) was confirmed. DDIR signature conferred improved prognosis in two thirds of patients with TNBC treated with adjuvant doxorubicin (A) and cyclophosphamide (C). DDIR signature has the potential to stratify outcome and to identify patients with less projected benefit after AC chemotherapy. In summary, This study identified the DDIR signature and sTILs as predictive of improved disease-free survival and overall survival for TNBC in the context of adjuvant AC chemotherapy.
Publication from Canadian Cancer Trials Group
This publication is the most recent in a body of work that involved a GWAS done on more than 4000 patients from the NCTN/CCTG MA.27 trial - A Randomized Phase III Trial of Exemestane Versus Anastrozole in Postmenopausal Women with Receptor Positive Primary Breast Cancer. This particular study looked at the association of specific SNPs and outcomes and identified SNPs that differentiate the efficacy of anastrozole and exemestane. The results suggest that additional genetic biomarkers may be useful for selecting an AI for a given patient.
Biospecimens from completed NCTN clinical trials can be requested either via NCTN Navigator or the NCTN Group’s Biospecimen Access process. In both instances, investigators will be provided with a feasibility assessment and cost estimate upon review of the request.
NCTN biospecimens are available to investigators from the cancer research community based on a review and approval by the NCTN Core Correlative Sciences Committee (NCTN-CCSC).
How to Access Biospecimens
Investigators should first check if the samples they are interested in are available in Navigator, if not, they should then contact the NCTN groups
NCTN Navigator is limited to biospecimens collected from NCTN trials that were:
- phase 2/3, phase 3, or large biospecimen collection protocols with clinical data;
- activated 1995 or later (with some exceptions); and
- completed with the primary outcome reported.
Information about the NCTN Navigator process is available on the NCTN Navigator website. Detailed instructions and important information about the request process are provided in the NCTN Navigator FAQs.
Information about the scientific review process for proposals submitted through NCTN Navigator is available on the NCTN Core Correlative Sciences Committee (NCTN-CCSC) website.
Biospecimens not available via NCTN Navigator may be requested through the NCTN Group. Please refer to the appropriate NCTN Group for additional information.
In general, the NCTN Group process mirrors that of NCTN Navigator. Briefly, investigators are required to submit a letter of intent (LOI) for Group feasibility assessment. If the LOI is feasible, investigators will be required to complete a proposal packet for scientific review by the NCI.
Note: If requesting biospecimens from more than one trial and at least one trial is in NCTN Navigator, then the entire request must be submitted through NCTN Navigator.
NCI Specimen Resource Locator
This is a database to help researchers locate human specimens (e.g., tissue, serum, DNA/RNA, other specimens) for cancer research.
This is a database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies conducted around the world.
The CHTN is a unique NCI supported resource that provides human tissues and fluids from routine procedures to investigators who utilize human biospecimens in their research. Unlike tissue banks, the CHTN works prospectively with each investigator to tailor specimen acquisition and processing to meet their specific project requirements.
National Disease Research Interchange
NDRI distributes biospecimens to hundreds of investigators around the world who are working to advance many areas of science and healthcare. NDRI makes it easy for approved investigators to get much-needed biospecimens prepared, preserved and shipped precisely according the specific needs of the research protocol.
NCI Biospecimen Research Database
The Biospecimen Research Database is a free and publicly accessible database that contains peer-reviewed primary and review articles as well as standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the field of human biospecimen science.
NHLBI BioLINCC Biospecimen and Data Repository
The mission of BioLINCC is to facilitate access to, and maximize the scientific value of, the Biorepository and Data Repository and promote the availability and use of other NHLBI funded population-based biospecimen and data resources.
NIDDK Central Repository
The NIDDK has established data, biospecimens, and genetic repositories to increase the impact of current and previously funded NIDDK studies by making their data and biospecimens available to the broader scientific community.