The purpose of the VCGP veterinary cancer biobank is to provide an international resource for advancing the study of animal tumors and advancing knowledge of tumor histopathology. The biobank will provide a repository for collections of tumors which have been characterized by application of a published or proposed grading systems or to which advanced techniques (immunohistochemistry, molecular studies, artificial intelligence assessment, etc.) have been applied.
The biobank will also form an archive for tumor tissue and associated metadata from animals in which outcome assessments have been well documented. The intent is the collections will provide information which can be applied to the entire spectrum of the care of cancer patients and will not be confined to only advanced techniques which may be only used at specialty centers or priced out of the range of the majority of pet owners.
We envision comparisons of novel techniques to the commonly used parameters to aid in defining the “spectrum of care” for tumor diagnosis, thereby giving clinicians and owners, armed with knowledge of the predictability of each diagnostic assay, a choice in determining the extent to which cancer patients are evaluated. Consequently, the biobank will include not only samples evaluated by routine diagnostic methods, but also samples which are assessed by more sophisticated technology, such as computer based artificial intelligence, a battery of immunohistochemical stains, molecular probes and genomic sequencing.
Tumor collections and patient data will be housed at the Joint Pathology Center and cases made available for investigators to test interobserver variability in application of grading systems, compare proposed to existing grading systems, apply new technologies, submit additional case examples, and publish manuscripts based upon larger case volumes. Tumor and metadata archives will permit testing of the prognostic utility of grading systems and provide a resource for archiving additional tumors to achieve more comprehensive evaluation of tumor behavior. The biobank will serve as an international educational resource, will promote interinstitutional cooperation and will provide a basis for studies and publications.
We are looking to collect blocks from oncology cases that would aid in developing new or improving current guidelines and protocols. Cases that have clinical and prognostic data are particularly valuable.