Tissue Procurement Core (TPC)

Siteman Cancer Center Tissue Procurement Core (TPC) Restoration of Services and Expansion of Hours of Operation
June 1, 2020

The Tissue Procurement Core at the Siteman Cancer Center has restored all service categories and expanded its hours of operation effective June 1, 2020.

NEW Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 9 AM – 4 PM

Services Supported/Restored:

  • Receipt/Processing of biospecimens for biobanking & therapeutic clinical trials
  • Project request line submissions
  • Nucleic acid isolation services
  • Histology services
  • Biospecimen distribution and shipping services
  • Initiation of new collection protocols for prospective biospecimen banking

As staffing policies and circumstances evolve, operational restrictions, including reduced service offering and/or complete closure of the TPC, may occur.

The TPC continues to operate under reduced staffing levels and this may prolong project timelines. 

Please contact Brian Goetz ([email protected]) and/or Dr. Mark Watson ([email protected]) if you have questions or concerns.


Mark Watson, MD, PhD

The Siteman Cancer Center (SCC) Tissue Procurement Core (TPC) is a College of American Pathologists (CAP)-accredited shared laboratory resource that enables patient-based cancer research. It provides highly cost effective services for tissue and fluid biospecimen collection, processing, tracking, and storage in order to support cancer genomic and biomarker studies associated with institutional and multi-institutional, investigator-initiated cancer clinical trials. TPC staff are trained in clinical laboratory processing, histology, molecular biology, quality management systems, and biospecimen informatics. TPC supports an average of 70 independent, investigatorinitiated clinical trials and biospecimen-related projects per year, which has resulted in the receipt, processing, and storage of more than 200,000 biospecimens over the past project period. Distribution of processed, quality-assured biospecimens (DNA, RNA, histological sections, plasma) to research investigators has resulted in more than 50 publications in the current project period, almost half of which have been published in high-impact journals (Thomson Reuters impact factor of 10 or greater). In addition to supporting biobanking for other Washington University Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE), and Program Project activities, the TPC also has contributed biospecimens and scientific leadership on a national scale to National Cancer Institute (NCI) initiatives such as the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC), Specimen Resource Locator (SRL), and National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). A continuing emphasis is placed on developing and standardizing state-of-the-art biospecimen processing and storage methods to support ‘next generation’ translational cancer research. As such, TPC has three, on-going, specific aims:

Aim 1: Provide ‘clinical grade’ services for prospective tissue and fluid biospecimen collection, processing, tracking and storage to support investigator-initiated cancer clinical trials and continue to contribute biorepository infrastructure and scientific leadership on a national scale. Emphasis will be placed on robust and cost-effective methods to collect and process biospecimens of interest in the context of clinical trials. Enhanced informatics applications and intelligent kit design will enable cost-effective procurement of biospecimens both locally and in multi-institutional trial settings. The TPC will continue to serve as the lead biobank for the NCI’s NCTN Alliance clinical trials group and will support other NCI biospecimen collection activities, through programs such as the Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trials Network (ETCTN) and the Cancer Immune Monitoring and Analysis Centers, when appropriate. TPC will provide support for the collection of high quality, clinically annotated biospecimens for future NCI efforts, similar to previously-supported Cancer Genome Atlas and CPTAC programs.

Aim 2: Provide easy, transparent, and cost-effective access to biospecimen resources and expertise for rapidly translating basic science discoveries into clinically relevant biomarkers. Further enhancements to informatics tools will allow investigators to more easily identify archived biospecimen collections (frozen tumor and non-malignant tissues, nucleic acid derivatives, serum and plasma) relevant for their research questions. We will continue to work with the institution’s Institute for Informatics on improving clinical annotations on archived collections to increase their value for relevant clinical correlative questions. TPC will provide other specialized, but cost-effective, services such as histological tissue processing, pathology review, and nucleic acid isolation utilizing a new project tracking software application that streamlines the process from initial service request to final biospecimen delivery. Importantly, the TPC will continue its critical role of ‘connecting’ basic scientists and clinical researchers together to foster novel, biospecimen-based translational research studies.

Aim 3: Develop and validate new methodology for biospecimen processing that meets the evolving requirements of investigators conducting biospecimen-based translational cancer research. Procedures for the collection and processing of cell-free DNA, exosomes, dissociated cells obtained from solid tumors, cryopreserved solid tissue, and samples for metagenomic analyses will be evaluated. Based on consensus needs of SCC membership, processes will be validated and offered as a service to support new clinical trials and translational cancer research studies.

LOCATION: BJC Institute of Health, 5th floor, Rms. 5120, 5113, 5205

PRICING: Please contact the core for current pricing of services offered.

TO ACCESS: Call 314-454-7605 or e-mail [email protected]

Request Biospecimens or Services from the TPC:

Existing users can login to OpenSpecimen and use Projects directly at https://openspecimen.wustl.edu/

New users can obtain training through Learn@Work and request an OpenSpecimen account by contacting [email protected].

Browse Existing Collections of Biospecimens using Open Specimen Catalogs – https://openspecimen.wusm.wustl.edu/openspecimen/#/specimen-catalogs/41/search

NIH PUBLIC ACCESS POLICY: As of April 7, 2008, the NIH requires investigators with a publication using Siteman (or other NIH-funded) shared resources to submit (or have submitted for them) their final, peer reviewed manuscripts to PubMed Central(PMC) upon acceptance of publication, to be made publicly available within 12 months of publication. Many journals automatically submit these for authors, but Washington University also has assistance available through the Becker Medical Library. Please see https://becker.wustl.edu/services/author-analytics-and-support/compliance/#:~:text=The%20NIH%20Public%20Access%20Policy,upon%20acceptance%20of%20the%20publication for more information.

PUBLICATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: If research supported by the Tissue Procurement Core results in publication, please acknowledge this support by including the following in your publication(s):

We thank the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, MO. and the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) at Washington University in St. Louis, for the use of the Tissue Procurement Core, which provided __________ service. The Siteman Cancer Center is supported in part by an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant #P30 CA091842 and the ICTS is funded by the National Institutes of Health’s NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program grant #UL1 TR002345.