The PLCO Biorepository: Creating, Maintaining, and Administering a Unique Biospecimen Resource.

Author(s): Carrick DM,  Black A,  Gohagan JK,  Khan A,  Pettit K,  Williams C,  Yu K,  Yurgalevitch S,  Huang WY,  Zhu C

Journal: Rev Recent Clin Trials

Date: 2015

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): BRG, EDRG, PLCO

PubMed ID: 26238117

PMC ID: PMC6411281

Abstract: Inclusion of biospecimens in population-based studies is an integral part of understanding disease etiology, identifying biomarkers and developing prevention and treatment strategies. The Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) cancer screening trial collected, processed and stored biospecimens from participants to create a biorepository of specimens which serves as a useful resource for a broad research community. PLCO collected blood samples from consented screening arm participants at six screening rounds and a buccal sample from consented control arm participants. In addition, formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tumor tissue specimens were collected for participants in both arms for selected cancer sites. Collection of biospecimens at multiple timepoints (i.e. serial samples) and prior to cancer diagnosis, paired with rich epidemiologic and screening data, makes the PLCO collection of biospecimens a uniquely valuable resource. As such, access to the PLCO biorepository is granted to investigators by a rigorous scientific review process and guided by a steering committee which is responsible for developing and implementing the biospecimen use policies. Here, we describe the procedures for biospecimen collection, processing, storage, requisition, and distribution, as well as data management employed in PLCO. We also provide examples of how the biospecimens have been used to advance cancer research and describe relevant lessons learned to help inform cohorts wishing to add or modify biospecimen collection.