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Considerations for uniform and accurate biospecimen labelling in a biorepository and research environment
  1. Andrew B Kay1,2,
  2. Daniel K Estrada1,2,
  3. Sergey Mareninov1,2,
  4. Steven S Silver1,2,
  5. Clara E Magyar2,3,
  6. Sarah M Dry2,3,
  7. Timothy F Cloughesy4,5,
  8. William H Yong1,2,5,6
  1. 1Brain Tumor Translational Resource, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  3. 3Translational Pathology Core Laboratory, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  4. 4Department of Neurology (Neuro-oncology), David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  5. 5Jonsson Cancer Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  6. 6Brain Research Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr William H Yong, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA Medical Center, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, CHS 18-161, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; wyong{at}mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

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.

  • Alphanumeric
  • biorepository
  • biospecimen
  • education
  • identification
  • information technology
  • labelling
  • laboratory management
  • quality control, storage

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Footnotes

  • 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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