Orchid Tissue Bank

The Orchid Research Tissue Bank is a Genito-Urinary tissue bank collecting and storing samples of the following cancer types:

  • prostate orchidLogo
  • testis
  • penile
  • kidney
  • bladder cancer.

It consists of fresh frozen and formalin fixed tissue samples as well as whole blood, plasma and serum collected from patients with Genito-Urinary cancers or being investigated for malignancy.

The bank was set up with the purpose of expanding the collection of these cancers; providing material for scientific research aiming to discover new biomarkers that have the potential to be used as diagnostic/prognostic markers. Ultimately, this could assist in creating personalised treatments for patients. In addition to our own in-house research we have collaborations with groups within the UK, in the EU and USA.

Information for researchers

Researchers who like to access the tissue will need to contact Professor Berney for agreement from the governance committee. A material transfer agreement has to be signed between the two parties (external research groups to QMUL). In the case of research groups within QMUL a tissue request form will be sent instead.

The integrity of the proposed research will be considered with relevance to the desired outcome, whether it will add further value to existing research in the field of Gento-Urinary cancer, and ethical approval. A confirmation e-mail will be sent to the interested party and the tissue will be released. The tissue could be either collected or couriered depending on the location

Information for patients

Any patient who has been diagnosed with any of the cancers mentioned above can donate tissue. Patients who want to donate their tissue can contact the ORTB by using the landline number or contact e-mail addresses listed below. After receiving agreement for tissue donation a meeting will be arranged to discuss details. During this process the patient information sheet with the consent form will be provided for the patient to read through and, if the patient is happy with the contents, they will be asked to sign the consent form.

The BCI Genito-Urinary Bank Team


Professor Daniel Berney

Principal investigator

Ms Sakunthala Kudahetti

Tissue Bank Manager

Dr Elzbieta Stankiewicz

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Dr Glenda Scandura

Data Administrator

Ms Sara Santos Vidal

Research Technician

Tissue Bank Procedures

The tissue bank staff is trained in acquiring consent from patients who undergo surgery for Genito-Urinary conditions, and in Good Clinical and Laboratory Practices.

The tissues are stored either in liquid Nitrogen or a -80°C freezer. Formalin fixed tissue is collected from diagnostic archives of collaborating hospitals and stored in a secure facility within the Centre for Molecular Oncology. The details are recorded with relevant pathological data in an encrypted Excel database and also in the item tracker database.

The processes of patient consent, tissue collection, storage and analyses are performed according to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that are documented.

The funding body for the tissue bank is Orchid, which has been a constant supporter of the tissue bank and the research carried out from the tissue collected since 2004. Other funding bodies or companies that have further enhanced our capabilities include Myriad Genetics Inc, Barts Charity, Cancer Research UK and The Jean Shanks Foundation.


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