The BCR is a CAP-accredited laboratory and biorepository within the Biopathology Center (BPC) at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
The BCR at Nationwide Children's Hospital is composed of six primary workgroups: Clinical Outreach, Logistics, Histology, Pathology and Virtual Microscopy, Molecular, and Informatics. This subdivision of workgroups creates a modular system which allows the BCR flexibility and variety in the functions it performs for any contracting group. The workgroups operate independently and cooperatively to achieve project goals, depending on the needs of a project.
Clinical Outreach works with study-specific groups to identify the acceptance criteria for each disease/tumor category and what clinical data elements should be collected. This group then trains new Tissue Source Sites (TSS) on guidelines for submission of specimens and clinical data. Clinical Outreach maintains a customer-service based working relationship with eachTSS to coordinate safe and timely receipt of specimens and clinical data. This relationship allows quick resolution to questions or problems while maintaining the highest integrity of specimens and clinical data received.
The Logistics team performs the biorepository functions of the BCR. This includes the in-bound shipment and accessioning of patient samples, and out-bound shipment of DNA, RNA, and tissue for molecular and proteomic analyses. Logistics also maintains short-term storage of specimens during the qualification process, as well as long-term storage using best practices.The histology functions are performed by histotechnicians, and frozen sections are prepared from all samples that are to be processed for analysis.
Histology functions are performed by histotechnicians, and frozen sections are prepared from all samples that are to be processed for analysis.
The Virtual Microscopy group images all frozen sections and assigns cases to expert-review pathologists to confirm diagnoses and record histologic findings. Images from qualified cases are uploaded to the appropriate project’s user interface.
The Molecular lab co-isolates DNA and RNA from cases that pass pathology review, and ensures that resulting nucleic acids pass quality control metrics. As a final check, tumor and normal control samples are genotyped using a custom SNP panel to confirm both samples are from the same patient. Additionally, the custom SNP panel verifies that the gender of the patient matches that provided in the clinical data submitted for the patient. The molecular group has also developed several project-specific procedures, including microsatellite instability and human papillomavirus testing for select studies.
Informatics ties all these processes together and transforms the specimen and clinical data into transportable language for the Data Coordinating Center (DCC)/Genomics Data Commons (GDC). Informatics initiatives include development of clinical data forms, data validations, XML formats, and biotab formats for uploading of biospecimen and clinical data to the DCC/GDC.