NHS histopathology laboratories are well placed to develop banks of surgically removed surplus human tissues to meet the increasing demands of commercial biomedical companies. The ultimate aim could be national network of non-profit making NHS tissue banks conforming to national minimum ethical, legal, and quality standards which could be monitored by local research ethics committees. The Nuffield report on bioethics provides ethical and legal guidance but we believe that the patient should be fully informed and the consent given explicit. Setting up a tissue bank requires enthusiasm, hard work, and determination as well as coordination between professionals in the NHS trust and in the commercial sector. The rewards are exiting new collaborations with commercial biomedical companies which could help secure our future.
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