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The Department of Pathology's Biospecimen Repository serves as a bridge between basic scientists and real cancers affecting real patients. While clonal cell lines used in laboratory research are vital for many types of experiments, they cannot substitute for the diversity of cancers seen in our patient population. There are many reasons for this.
For one thing, not all cancers can survive in the lab once removed from a patient's body, and so existing clonal cancer cell lines represent only a tiny fraction of all cancers. Secondly, cancers in the human body are not simply masses of identical clonal cells. In fact, cancerous tumors have a more complex structure containing a variety of cell types, both cancerous and non-cancerous. Third, obtaining cancer samples directly from our patients allows us to study the biological aspects of one of Mississippi's most pressing cancer control problems, the problem of population-based cancer disparities. Finally, with the proper equipment our researchers can now search for rare cell types known as "cancer stem cells" (or "tumor initiating cells") which appear to be the key to understanding cancer metastasis, drug resistance, and other difficult scientific challenges that have prevented us from truly curing all cancers.
The repository provides researchers with biological cancer specimens in a very efficient manner. All samples are collected, processed and distributed in strict accordance with protocols that have been reviewed and approved by the UMMC Institutional Review Board. Assuring absolute privacy and uncompromised medical care for our tissue donors is our highest priority.
2500 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39216