The Wales Cancer Bank (WCB) was set up in 2004 and consented the first patient in 2005. The project is hosted by Cardiff University and receives funding from the Welsh Government, Cancer Research Wales and Velindre Charitable funds.
A Cancer Bank is literally a collection of tissue and blood which has been collected from patients where cancer is a possible diagnosis and is being stored to facilitate future research into cancer.
Statistics suggest that one out of three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their life. Cancers are complex diseases and it is an on-going quest to understand how they develop, spread and can be treated. The development of more effective, targeted treatment for cancer depends on increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the initiation of the tumour, its progression to metastatic disease and response and resistance to treatment. Research studies rely on the availability of high quality biological material from patients with cancer and large studies are needed to correlate biology with clinical outcome.
The Welsh population is relatively stable and this makes it an ideal cohort to collect and study. Linkage with the all Wales cancer clinical database (CANISC) enables good correlation of science with clinical follow-up. This will eventually enable the results from hundreds of research projects to be integrated and linked to clinical outcome and this will be an invaluable source of data for bioinformatics specialists to examine. All the data collected is being stored on a database housed in the NHS to ensure security and confidentiality
The WCB currently consents patients in 8 hospitals around Wales with specially trained research nurses and clinical teams.