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May 10, 2018
May Specimen Spotlight
“Triple negative” is a less common category of breast cancer that is more challenging to treat, often requiring surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
The name signifies that the cancer is not fueled, as the majority of breast cancers are, by estrogen, progesterone or the HER-2 protein. These other cancer types can often be treated with targeted therapies.
Tissue blocks for cancer research and new therapeutic approaches
One of our longtime clients, at the vanguard of cancer treatment, recently ordered triple negative breast cancer tissue from 30 different patients. The client requested tissue preserved in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) blocks. These samples, which were delivered in less than a week, will support our client’s investigation into an array of new therapeutic approaches.
Precision human biospecimens drive precision medicine
The cancer tissue order exemplifies the new level of specificity demanded in this era of precision medicine. Not long ago, these researchers would have simply requested 30 tissue samples from breast cancer patients without further specification. Moving forward, specimen needs will become even more specific since we know that triple negative is a category, not a single disease, for example. This demand for specificity is rising for all biospecimens.
Fortunately, specificity is one of the strengths of the iSpecimen Marketplace, an online exchange that helps researchers quickly obtain the tissue, biofluids and cells they need from the patients they want. Researchers can even specify patient diagnoses, demographics, medications, procedure history, outcomes or specific test result ranges as they search to procure an exact biospecimen match for their research.
By aggregating specimens from a vast network for biobanks, clinical labs and health care organizations – and arranging for prospective collection when necessary – such requests are thoroughly viable and can be filled quickly. The research can commence unhindered, and breakthroughs will inevitably follow. For triple negative breast cancer patients, this is something very positive indeed.
Watch this short video and learn more about how the iSpecimen Marketplace works.