Looking For Human Cancer Tissue Samples (Specimens of Tumour or Neoplasm)

Many of the requests submitted on the Biosample Hub platform are for human cancer tissue samples (i.e. specimens of tumour or neoplasm). Requests may be for fresh, frozen or paraffin-embedded tissues. Requests often include the normal tissue adjacent to the tumour. Sometimes they require samples of metastatic tumours. Blood samples from the patient may also be required. We also see an increasing number of requests for tumour samples with information about response to anti-cancer therapy.

Surgical removal of tumour specimens

The image above shows a surgeon removing a tumour sample at an operation.

For more information requesting samples from Biosample Hub, see the Companies page

Strengths Of The Biosample Hub Platform.

The Biosample Hub platform includes a high proportion of biobanks with strong collections of tumour samples. For example, in December 2020, 70% of biobank members reported strong collections of human tumours. The membership includes multiple cancer centre biobanks. The membership also includes national networks of tumour banks specialised in breast cancer and glioblastoma.


Bar Chart Showing Biobank Strengths Across Different Tumour Types

Sources of human cancer tissue samples

As shown in the chart above, there are biobanks on the platform with strengths across the whole spectrum of human cancer tissue samples. For example, four biobanks have substantial collections of oral/pharyngeal tumour specimens. In the same way, seven biobanks have significant collections of gastrointestinal cancer. Another seven biobanks have substantial collections of breast cancer tissue.


Classification of Tumour Specimen Types

The classification of tumour types used throughout the Biosample Hub platform is based on the ICD-10 classification.

Drop-down menus for searching the biobank directory include the following terms:


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC)
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Colonic and or Rectal cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Small-cell lung cancer
  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thymoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Skin cancer (excluding melanoma)
  • Melanoma
  • Mesothelioma
  • Breast cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Renal cancer
  • Nephroblastoma
  • Brain tumour
  • Glioblastoma
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Leukaemia
  • Myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL)
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Cachexia
  • Metastases