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Improvement in biomarkers identification through standardization procedures using human tissue samples



The OPTIMARK project, promoted by ISCIII, sets the basis for current knowledge on how to determine tissue quality, promoting new lines of research within this area

Knowing what causes diseases is the goal of many biomedical research projects, that seek to identify biomarkers in order to diagnose and treat these diseases. However, one of the known problems in the use of biomarkers is that most of them have not been validated and, therefore, never reach the market. As a result, they are not introduced into the clinical practice. One of the reasons why biomarkers are not useful for diagnosis and treatment is that many of them are not biomarkers of disease per se, but biomarkers of the usage that has been done to the sample before being analysed. This happens with ischemia time biomarkers or hypoxia biomarkers. That's why standardizing sample collection, processing and storage procedures, prior to their analysis, is key to reducing the identification of "false" biomarkers for diseases. The National Biobank Network, of which the" Vall d'Hebron University Hospital Biobank is a collaborator, promoted, through the ISCIII Biobank Platform, strategic R&D projects. The OPTIMARK project is a multicentre project with more than 20 biobanks, led by four Biobanks: the CIBERES Pulmonary Bank, the CNIO Biobank, the Andalusian Health Listing Biobank, and the Biobank of Vall d'Hebron University Hospital.This collaborative group recently published a literature review article in the" Journal of Translational Medicine that analysed the current situation on human tissue quality assurances, from the perspective of available techniques for determining tissue quality as defining reference values. These references do indicate whether a tissue sample is valid for use in biomarker analysis. This review and analysis has allowed to define algorithms for paraffin tissue samples and for frozen tissue samples, which are the most commonly used tissue sample formats in research."This work wants to determine tissue quality and has served as a starting point for new experimental lines that we are currently being developed and which we expect to publish soon. It was also a huge collaborative work between Biobanks, and this effort has been recognized with prizes at national and international Biobank congresses , "said Isabel Novoa, main author of the article, one of the four main researchers of the OPTIMARK project the Biobank of Vall d'Hebron University Hospital Director. This research line in Biospecimen research is an improvement in the research and validation of biomarkers through the standardization procedures for human tissue samples. Ultimately, it is useful in the diagnosis and decision-making of treatments for patients in precision Medicine health centres. Biobank of the Vall d'Hebron University HospitalThe Vall d'Hebron Biobank is part of the VHIR (VHIR Scientific and Technical Services) research support services. It provides services for the collection, processing and storage of human biological samples for its usage in biomedical research. Since its inception, the Biobank continues its growth trajectory, supporting multiple research projects at Vall d'Hebron Campus in different disciplines. Currently the Biobank of Vall d'Hebron is implementing the actions of its Strategic Plan (2018-2022) and since 2017 the Biobank has been certified ISO9001.

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