Blood and body tissue samples are vital for cancer research. Blood and tissue samples in cancer research. Many developments in cancer treatment come from doctors and researchers looking at blood and tumor (tissue) samples in the laboratory. You can also get human tissue procurement services online.

Researchers call these biosamples and they use them to learn more about:

  • how cancers develop so they can find new ways to prevent them
  • changes in hormones, chemicals or cells to help find new ways to diagnose cancer
  • how cancer cells behave so they can find new ways to kill them
  • what happens to cancer cells when they are exposed to new treatments
  • which treatments work best for people with particular types of cancer
  • better ways of controlling side effects and symptoms

Types of body tissue samples:

Researchers can use several different types of tissue samples to help with their research. These include:

  • small samples of tumors from biopsies or surgery
  • blood samples
  • fluids removed using a needle and syringe from body cavities, joints, abscesses or cysts
  • body fluids, such as urine, spit (sputum), saliva and tears
  • cells from skin, hair, nails, the inside of the mouth, the eye, or the neck of the womb (cervix)

What happens to your sample

Researchers store samples in laboratories called biobanks. These are like libraries. They keep the samples with some details of your medical history, but no personal details. The samples cannot be traced back to you. A computer stores the medical information about each sample so that researchers can find the samples they need.

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