Correct labelling of specimens in a biorepository or research laboratory is vital, especially for translational or clinical studies linking clinical data with biospecimens. While patient privacy must be carefully protected, confusing or inadequate labelling can potentially result in the study of the wrong biospecimens with detrimental effects to the accuracy of published findings or a requirement for invaluable biospecimens to be discarded. Labelling guidelines are described in the biorepository of the University of California–Los Angeles Brain Tumour Translational Resource, and in recipient neuro-oncology laboratories to which biospecimens and derivatives are provided. This approach includes specifying identifier types, types of dates and institutions on the biospecimen labels; using multiple identifiers on each specimen when feasible; and developing a three to four-letter alphanumeric code to aid in label recognition. In addition, steps are being taken to educate recipient laboratories on best practices in labelling.
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Funding SMD and CEM are supported in part by funding from the Jonsson Cancer Center. TFC and WHY are supported in part by funding from the Henry E. Singleton Brain Cancer Fund and Art of the Brain Fund.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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