Donation of tissue and blood to the Wales Cancer Bank (WCB) is a gift and we are very grateful to all patients who consent to donate. Consenting to donate, or refusing to donate samples to WCB will not affect routine care in any way and all patient details remain confidential. When researchers are provided with samples for their projects, the samples only have a WCB number on them so no-one can be identified by their samples.
Patients who consent to donate samples and subsequently change their mind can withdraw consent at any time by contacting either the nurse who originally consented them or the central WCB office in Cardiff. WCB will withdraw all samples still in storage and will return them to the pathology department in the hospital from which they originated for disposal. If consent is withdrawn after more than six months some of the samples may have already been issued to researchers. WCB cannot recall tissue from researchers but will request the return of the tissue at the end of the research project for disposal. If a patient expresses specific wishes regarding the disposal of their samples WCB will endeavour to accommodate those wishes wherever practicable in association with the Local Health Board responsible for the patient’s diagnosis and operative care. If a patient expresses a wish to dispose of their sample personally, the samples will be returned to the local histopathology department in the hospital in which the patient was operated. Material will be returned according to the locally agreed hospital policy.
WCB welcomes feedback from patients (positive and negative!) and encourages patients to either speak directly to the nurse consenting them or if they prefer to contact the central office directly. Any complaints regarding personnel involved in WCB activity should be directed to the central office in Cardiff and all issues will be thoroughly investigated. If patients, family or friends are interested in helping to publicise or fundraise for the WCB then again please let the central office or the local WCB nurse know. Some of our patients have participated in workshops at an international cancer conference and been interviewed for local radio and television. The patient voice is powerful and we are grateful to all those who lend their support publicly as well as privately.