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Researchers from any, global academic institution or biomedical company can apply for QUANTUM samples and data.

We will support research into urological cancers, encompassing:

  • Basic scientific research of broad relevance to urological cancers and related conditions, where some of this knowledge may have broader implications for medical research.  
  • Experimental research that could translate into early phase trials or to extend and supporting findings from clinical trials. 
  • Screening for potential participants who may be eligible for targeted clinical studies. 
  • Translational research undertaken within early and late phase clinical trials.

This will be decided by the QUANTUM Tissue Access Committee (TAC). The committee includes members of the QUANTUM coordinating team (Biobank Manager, Governance Manager and Data Manager), the Chief Investigator (or suitable delegate), Clinical leads from each biobank module (as required) and a Consultant Pathologist.

QUANTUM Biobank will prioritise the collection, storage and distribution of tissue samples as necessary to deliver approved research programmes. The Biobank will be divided into up to five ‘modules’ operating under the same over-arching QUANTUM protocol:  

  • Prostate 
  • Urothelial 
  • Kidney 
  • Testicular and Penile 
  • ProMPT Legacy

We will collect a small amount of whole fresh blood (for germline DNA), blood derivatives and urine from each prospective biobank participant, collecting serial samples wherever possible.

QUANTUM will accept a wide range of samples and data obtained from patients in Oxford, elsewhere in the UK and internationally (including countries outside the EEA):

Sample types: 

  1. Tissue from diagnostic investigations and surgical therapies
  2. Fresh blood and blood derivatives 
  3. Part processed samples (e.g. sections for extraction of DNA & RNA). 
  4. Constructed tissue micro-arrays (TMAs)
  5. Historical samples from ProMPT Study (MREC/01/4/061) 
  6. Sample collections from completed studies where consent for future research was given.
  7. Tissue from other Biobanks where appropriate consent was given.

QUANTUM staff will also collect and record medical and pathological data for linkage to research samples.

Blood derivates and urine samples are collected and processed in line with Standard Operating Procedures and the supernatants are aliquoted into 0.5ml or 0.925ml aliquots before being stored at -70°C.   

The ProMPT study (MREC 01/4/061), a long-standing research study into the molecular pathology and mechanisms of progression of prostate cancer, pre-existed QUANTUM as a vehicle for our tissue-based prostate cancer research. Important legacy components from the ProMPT study will be carried forward as a fifth module within the new QUANTUM biobank.

QUANTUM is a new UK Biobank based in Oxford and as with most academic biobanks it is a non-profit organisation.  Although some initial funding has been secured to develop a trial-linked sample collection (from the John Black Charitable Foundation for the TRANSLATE Trial) with limited departmental resources to establish required staffing and infrastructure, in order to sustain the future of the biobank it will be necessary to recover costs from researchers for the supply of samples, services and data.  

We have looked closely at other models of cost recovery within research biobanks and have attempted to incorporate a model which is as fair as possible to researchers but allows us to plan for our sustainable future operation.   

Each year the QUANTUM Management Committee will review the resources available to the biobank (including any revenue generated from cost recovery) and plan a pricing proposal for the upcoming year.