Cambridgeshire 1 Research Ethics Committee
Name of establishment responsible for the bank
NHSBT Cambridge BioResource
NHSBT Cambridge BioResource
Contact Point Name/Address
Dr Willem H Ouwehand
University of Cambridge & NHS Blood and Transplant
Cambridge CB2 2PT
Types of Sample from living
The NHSBT Cambridge BioResource (CBR) collects samples from consenting blood donors of the English National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) panel. Blood donors were recruited at blood donation sessions in 2007 (June to October) and 2009 (February to July). Fresh blood samples of 18 ml were obtained from the satellite pouch of the blood collection unit, and were used to perform a full blood count, to isolate plasma, serum and nucleic acid (DNA & RNA). The leucocyte depletion filter (a waste product) was also collected in some instances. Occasionally, donors have been asked to give a saliva sample (e.g. if DNA isolation from blood fails). These blood components are stored for future use at temperature controlled facilities on the Addenbrooke’s BioMedical campus.
Following the donation session, the participant was asked to complete a questionnaire covering lifestyle and medical history. Personal donor data (name, address) can only be accessed by volunteer-facing CBR staff for the purpose of communication (e.g. thank you letters). Clinical and other non-personal data (e.g. blood groups, HLA and HPA types, etc) are retrieved from donor records by download from the secure NHSBT database. This data, as well as laboratory data (e.g. results from genetic testing) may be released in a pseudo-anonymised format.
Types of Sample from deceased
Blood samples were used for full blood counts. Plasma and serum can be used for biomarker measurements (e.g. ferritin levels). DNA/RNA can used for analysing the genetic code (e.g. genotyping) or patterns of transcription (RNA) and to follow-up targets discovered during previous genome wide screens (www.wtccc.org) including genetic markers that are associated with disease risk. As part of the Blood Service, the bank will also be used for research in rare diseases, e.g. bleeding disorders and abnormalities of blood cell indices.
Research to be undertaken
The CBR (http://www.cambridgebioresource.org.uk/) encapsulates a cohort of 10,000 healthy volunteers who have consented to be approached and invited to participate in local research studies investigating the links between genes, the environment, common diseases and psychological function. A close collaboration with the Cambridge BioResource of local volunteers (primarily non-blood donors) exists, and both are led by the same management committee which reviews requests from researchers to gain acces. Such studies would have to obtain separate ethics approval.
The NHSBT Cambridge BioResource has approval for:
A) collecting phenotype data from questionnaires
B) carrying out biomarker measurements
C) carrying out a full blood count
D) genotyping of the stored DNA samples and microarray of the RNA.
This allows the selection and recruitment of best matched volunteers to CBR Stage 2 research studies on the basis of their genotype, laboratory results and/or phenotype (e.g. age, gender and ethnicity).