Although there have been remarkable improvements in breast cancer diagnosis and management, most of the complex molecular mechanisms associated with the onset, progression and/or severity of breast cancer are still not well understood. As part of the CBCP we carry out molecular, biochemical and histological analysis of breast tissue and/or blood and blood components from breast cancer patients to provide insights into the molecular mechanisms that may be relevant in the development of breast cancer and breast diseases. To achieve this aim, a large supply and a wide variety of good quality tissue samples are needed. Unfortunately, good quality donor breast tissue is extremely scarce and when available is often not backed by a comprehensive medical history and/or is not a good representation of the target population or study area. The non-availability of a steady and consistent supply of good quality tissue limits the systematic analysis of tissues and negatively impacts the generation of biologically useful information in research laboratories and by extension negatively impacts new findings that benefit clinical practice. The objective of this project is therefore the acquisition and banking of breast tissue, lymph nodes, serum/plasma and other blood derivatives from informed and consenting donors.

Since the inceptions of the Clinical Breast Care Project the Biorepository Pillar has been critical to the success of the project. As we move forward into the establishment of the CBCP it is important to look at the success of the biorepository and to understand the firm foundation that it has laid for building the Center of Excellence.

The charts below show the cumulative patient accrual into the CBCP protocols and total number of specimens stored in our biorepository since 2002.  These patients, who have been recruited and consented into the CBCP protocols at WRAMC, WRNMMC, AAMC, JMBCC and other participating CBCP clinical intake sites are the foundations of the translational research that has occurred within the CBCP and which will continue in the BC-COE. As of 6 April 2018, there were a total of 75,646 biospecimens (Figure BB-1) banked from a total of 8,746 fully consented subjects to our IRB approved tissue and blood protocols. (Figure BB-2).

Figure BB-1


Figure BB-2

CBCP has the world’s largest biorepository from breast patients of human breast tissues, lymph nodes, sentinel nodes, sera, bone marrow aspirates, cancers, benign tumors, pre-malignant disease, and other biospecimens. This unique resource is tapped for both internal (CBCP and WRI) scientific research in the general realms of genomic and proteomic research, as well as for targeted collaborations with extramural collaborators from academia, governmental organizations, and corporate entities, in order to fully leverage the power of this unique international resource.

CBCP’s biorepository is unique in that it is powerfully characterized by clinical, demographic, and pathologic information gleaned from its originating patients through robust IRB-approved and fully HIPPA-compliant protocols that exceed all existing regulatory requirements for patient consent, privacy, and oversight.

CBCP has one of the few fully integrated genomic and proteomic molecular biology research programs in the nation devoted exclusively to research in breast diseases. We have an established track record of publication and scientific communication in this field, to include publication in THE LANCET Oncology on our unique discovery of genomic changes in pathologically non-neoplastic breast tissues.