CAN A UTAH BIOREPOSITORY--HOME OF THE LARGEST TISSUE SAMPLE DATABASE IN THE WORLD--BE THE ANSWER TO FINDING A CURE FOR CANCER? THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT.

Author:Crockett, David K.
 
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The Intermountain Healthcare Biorepository, located in Salt Lake County, is home to one of the largest tissues sample databases in the world, and it's about to get a lot bigger. It will be a tremendous resource for researchers looking for breakthrough health discoveries or new therapies to treat chronic medical diseases and illnesses.

The Intermountain Biorepository has amassed a collection of tissue and blood samples that currently stands at more than five million samples that fills multiple numbers of 25-foot high shelves in the biorepository storage area. The exciting opportunity? Every single tissue and blood sample holds valuable information that has the potential for medical advancements that the world needs to help lead to potential cures for major diseases.

The foundation of all research is the need for usable data and the biorepository has been able to provide that for decades with hopes to accelerate medical research and discoveries that can improve patient care and health. These are some of the important reasons why the Intermountain Biorepository exists and continues to grow.

The biorepository has been providing this source of data since the early 1970s, when the hospitals that would later become Intermountain Healthcare were owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The church gifted the hospitals to the community, with Intermountain formed as a not-for-profit health system in 1975. Now, the healthcare system has grown with the region's population to include 24 hospitals, 215 clinics.

Last September, the biorepository outgrew its space at LDS Hospital and moved to a new, expanded location in South Salt Lake. The new facility has cabinet upon cabinet, shelf after shelf, all lined with samples, and with even more room to grow. Inside are specimens, including tissues sealed in paraffin wax, as well as an increasing number of vital blood samples.

The new center brings with it advanced technology that increases efficiencies in research. This includes the adoption of a sophisticated barcode and electronic inventory management system. The tracking includes de-identification methods that safeguard patient information and provide ways to streamline research processes.

Digital pathology technology allows the biorepository team to quickly create, view, and send slide images to researchers electronically. Data integration innovation gives more clinical context and history about the samples and outcomes for...

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