Information for Investigators

If you need human tissue (fresh frozen or formalin fixed paraffin embedded) for research then please send us a request for tissue.

In recent years, cancer research has started to shift from using cell lines and animal models to human tissues. Due to the change in the pattern of research, investigators often request that pathologists provide human tissue that is to be discarded. The Pathology department utilizes a small part of tissue for diagnosis, the remaining tissue is stored for about three weeks after release of report, and then the tissue is discarded. Through the establishment of the tissue core facility, the tissue can be stored in a manner suitable for future use by investigators.

Tissue will be provided to the investigators for research only. The tissue will not be sold. The Tissue Services Core will charge processing and administrative cost for the samples or services provided to the investigators. The TSC advisory committee will decide the cost for processing and administration.

There are three commonly used models of tissue repositories: prospective tissue collection model, tissue banking model, and combination of the above two models.

In a prospective tissue collection model, tissue is collected according to the need of the researcher. If one researcher needs breast cancer tissue while another researcher needs prostate cancer tissue, then the tissue services core will collect breast and prostate cancer tissue and no other tissue.

A tissue-banking model collects and stores various types of tumor and non-tumor tissues. Whenever an investigator needs the tissue the stored tissue can be given without delay.

We are planning to collect tissue to use a combination of both the methods. As per investigator's request we will start collecting the tissue. The processing of the tissue would be performed following a protocol approved by the investigator. if an investigator is interested in performing research on the tissue that we have already collected using standard protocol, we will be providing the tissue to the investigator.

Procedure for Procurement, Processing and Storage

These are guidelines although collection and storage of solid tissue or body fluids might differ according to the need of the investigators.

Procedure for procurement, processing and storage of solid tissue specimens:

Solid tissue will be transported as soon as possible from the operating room, on ice, to the pathology grossing room. A pathologist, pathology assistant or resident pathologist will examine the tissue for gross abnormalities. Tissue required for diagnosis is collected. Remaining tissue that is not required for diagnosis is cut into small aliquots for snap freezing in liquid nitrogen, frozen after embedding in OCT, and stored in formalin.

Procedure for procurement, processing and storage of body fluids:

Specimens of blood, bone marrow, urine and other biological fluids must be kept sterile at all times. After assurance that the necessary requirements for diagnostic testing have been met, the tissue samples are stored using a standard protocol.

Release of Processed Tissue and Body Fluids

The request from an investigator for tissue and/or body fluids will be submitted to the Tissue Services Core. The written request will include the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all the investigators, an abstract of the proposed study including brief background, methods to be used and a copy of relevant IRB approval. The request will also include number and type of samples (tissue, serum, plasma etc) required. The members of tissue resource committee will review the request in a timely manner. If approved, the chair would inform the director of the Tissue Services Core to release the required samples.

tissue sample

Contact Us

Tissue Services Core

Dr. Anand Kulkarni
Director, Tissue Services Core
930 Madison Avenue, Suite 500
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-3545
Fax: (901) 448-6979