Newcastle Biobanks

Research Using Your Samples

Research Using Your Samples

We carry out research to further our understanding of the many different diseases and conditions.

When a researcher receives your sample they can do a wide range of scientific tests. These are used to find out why these cells or tissues are not functioning properly or have become diseased. 

This research may lead to better diagnostic teststreatmentsdrugs or even a cure. It is important that researchers repeat these tests on as many samples, from as many different patients as possible. It is also essential to compare diseased samples to healthy samples to identify differences between the two. A sample from a healthy volunteer may be a blood or urine sample, or we may get healthy tissue when an otherwise healthy person undergoes treatment i.e. for an accident. 

In an ideal world, doctors would be able to give personalised treatment specific to a patient's condition. One example of this is a diagnostic test for breast cancer which looks for three markers. Some patients do not have these markers. This is called ‘triple negative’ breast cancer. Some treatments are not not effective against this type of breast cancer. Patients can be tested for these markers and the results help determine their treatment. This saves the patient from unnecessary chemotherapy

It is only through research that we will discover other markers for other diseases. This will allow faster diagnosis and more effective treatments.

Newcastle Biobanks help this research by collecting large numbers of many different tissue types. Researchers can then quickly access and analyse these tissues rather than waiting years to build a collection.

We collect samples for researchers here in Newcastle, but we also share our samples with commercial companies and other institutions both in the UK and abroad. By doing this, developments in medical research can be reached sooner rather than later.