NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
September 23, 2008 • Volume 5 / Number 19 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Special ReportSpecial Report

NCI Expert Testifies on Biospecimen Policies

At a September 9 hearing chaired by Representative Brad Miller (D-NC), Dr. Jim Vaught, deputy director of NCI's Office of Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research (OBBR), testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, recommending best practices and policies for biospecimen storage and tracking.

Federal scientific collections are often subject to highly variable and substandard quality management practices, frequently without long-term plans for custodianship, Dr. Vaught stated. He also indicated that many of these collections are priceless and irreplaceable, and adopting practices such as those developed by NCI and other groups will be critical to preserving these collections in the condition necessary to make scientific discoveries and medical advances.

"We are mindful that when patients and other study participants agree to provide blood and other samples for research, they do so with an expectation that their tissue will be used to provide insight into the causes and cures of their disease, or to advance medical research in general," said Dr. Vaught.

To read Dr. Vaught's full testimony or learn more about NCI's initiatives to standardize biospecimen procedures to ensure the availability of high-quality human specimens for cancer research, visit