The importance oh human tissue use in research

The use of human tissue in research has become immensely important for advancing our scientific knowledge, testing new therapies and diagnostics and understanding diseases. In addition, it is very important to analyze large numbers of samples to gain statistical power. In this context, tumour tissue removed for diagnostic testing or during surgery represents a valuable research tool. Tissue banking programs give researchers in oncology rapid access to these biological samples. 

Biobanks are at the heart of research

The search for medical knowledge allows society to continually develop and improve. Scientific research contributes to the health and wellbeing of the population and the production of scientific knowledge related to health involves many disciplines. The gathering, organizing and analysis of collected data are likely as old as research itself. Systems used to organize and store this data have evolved over time with modern techniques and technology.


All research ultimately depends on the collection and conservation of observations, information and various materials, including biological samples. Although conservation of certain types of biological material has always existed, recent scientific and technological advancements have greatly expanded the possibilities. Research on human tissue specifically necessitates the creation of biobanks. However, biobanks multiply and expand, due to the length of retention, the number of samples stored, the large geographical area covered by the bank, or the financial stakes involved.  Moreover, the convergence of technological developments and improvements in sample conservation have allowed for large-scale storage leading to cutting edge research on human tissue.


The use of databases and biobanks represents a growing interest because of their ability to overcome largely anecdotal knowledge from limited cases or specimens. From a scientific point of view, what is important is that we can collect data and samples from hundreds if not thousands of cases. The analysis of these large amounts of data and samples increases the statistical power and therefore the validity of research results.


Linking the data and biological samples directly increases the means available for research and therefore increases the chances of acquiring new knowledge. However, linking data amplifies the risk of personal identification and breaches of privacy. 


The use of biobanks and databases lies at the heart of current research practices. Consequently, biobanks and databases are essential to scientific progress. Still, it is imperative that research using these tools be implemented in a manner that respects participant autonomy and privacy. For these reasons, we aim to develop an approach that recognizes the needs of research initiatives while working to respect the rights of all concerned. 

ANGLAIS - Biomarqueurs et la médecine personnalisée

Nous entrons dans l’ère de la médecine personnalisée pour laquelle de nouveaux médicaments et des marqueurs spécifiques sont introduits parallèlement. L’application des technologies ‘’–omiques’’ à des modèles innovateurs de cancer et le développement de technologies à haut débit pour l’identification des cibles du cancer et pour le criblage d’inhibiteurs spécifiques révolutionnent la découverte et le développement de thérapies contre le cancer et de tests diagnostiques.

La clé est maintenant de lier le profilage des tumeurs en temps réel à des traitements spécifiques. Une génération additionnelle d’algorithmes basés sur le profilage de ces tumeurs conduiront à proposer des thérapies spécifiques pour chacun des patients.

La médecine personnalisée a été identifiée par le FRSQ et les IRSC en tant que secteur de développement stratégique et les deux organismes sont en cours de planification pour soutenir de grandes initiatives dans ce domaine, attestant de l’importance de ce concept émergeant dans le traitement du cancer.

Un des objectifs visés par le RRCancer est le développement d’une médecine personnalisée en identifiant les cibles thérapeutiques et les marqueurs de tumeurs grâce aux technologies génomiques, protéomiques et bioinformatiques. La caractérisation moléculaires de ces cancers avec des paramètres cliniques facilités par les activités des biobanques permettra d’approfondir notre


ANGLAIS - Responsables des biobanques :

  • Cancer du rein: Dr Jean-Baptiste Lattouf
  • Cancer de la prostate: Dr Fred Saad et Dre Anne-Marie Mes-Masson
  • Cancer de l'ovaire: Dre Anne-Marie Mes-Masson et Dre DIane Provencher
  • Cancer du sein: Dr Réjean Lapointe
  • Cancer du poumon: Dr Réjean Lapointe
  • Cancer hépatobiliaire: Dr Simon Turcotte