The BCR at Nationwide Children's Hospital is composed of six primary workgroups:
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.
Client Services act as the primary liaison between the BCR and the Tissue Source Sites (TSSs) contributing samples. These individuals are responsible for initiating, training, and maintaining ongoing interactions and status exchanges with the TSSs in order to achieve the sample commitment agreed upon between the TSS and project sponsors. Client Services’ duties include training of TSSs in proper handling and packaging of samples to ensure sample integrity as well as regulatory compliance. Client Services will schedule tumor sample shipments and facilitate biospecimen data quality control of incoming specimens as well as data retrieval and QC of data entry into the BCR LIMS. Client Services maintain close contact with active TSSs, providing training, ongoing support, status reports, communications and general customer service relative to their received or anticipated tumor samples.
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.
Histology functions are performed by histotechnicians. The histotechs are responsible for sectioning samples and staining slides for pathology review of in accordance with CAP/Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) guidelines.
Pathology and Virtual Microscopy
Virtual Microscopy (Biomedical Imaging Team (BIT)) group, whole slide imaging scanning robots, scans pathology glass slides to obtain high resolution digital slide images. BIT also coordinates digital pathology review using web-based application serving slide images and project based review forms. The group also qualifies cases based on pathology reviews received back from certified pathologists. Click here to visit the BIT’s website.
The CAP/CLIA accredited Molecular lab co-isolates DNA and RNA from cases that pass pathology review, and ensures that resulting nucleic acids pass quality control metrics for quantity and integrity. 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. The custom SNP panel verifies that the gender of the patient matches that provided in the biospecimen or clinical data submitted for the patient. The molecular group has also developed several project-specific procedures, including microsatellite instability and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing for select studies.
Informatics ties all these processes together and transforms the biospecimen data into transportable language for the Data Coordinating Center (DCC)/Genomic Data Commons (GDC). Informatics initiatives include the development of and support of underlying databases and applications of the BCR.