Establishment of the Dutch Nationwide, Interdisciplinary Infrastructure and Biobank for Fundamental and Translational Ovarian Cancer Research: Archipelago of Ovarian Cancer Research

Archipelago of Ovarian Cancer Research Consortium

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OBJECTIVES: Ovarian cancer has the worst overall survival rate of all gynecologic malignancies. For the majority of patients, the 5-year overall survival rate of less than 50% has hardly improved over the last decades. To improve the outcome of patients with all subtypes of ovarian cancer, large-scale fundamental and translational research is needed. To accommodate these types of ovarian cancer research, we have established a Dutch nationwide, interdisciplinary infrastructure and biobank: the Archipelago of Ovarian Cancer Research (AOCR). The AOCR will facilitate fundamental and translational ovarian cancer research and enhance interdisciplinary, national, and international collaboration. DESIGN: The AOCR biobank is a prospective ovarian cancer biobank in which biomaterials are collected, processed, and stored in a uniform matter for future (genetic) scientific research. All 19 Dutch hospitals in which ovarian cancer surgery is performed participate and collaborate in the AOCR biobank. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Patients of 16 years and older with suspected or diagnosed ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer are recruited for participation. Patients who agree to participate give written informed consent for collection, storage, and issue of their biomaterials for future studies. After inclusion, different blood samples are taken at various predefined time points both before and during treatment. In case of a diagnostic paracentesis or biopsy, the residual biomaterials of these procedures are stored in the biobank. During surgery, primary tumor tissue and, if applicable, tissue from metastatic sites are collected and stored. From each patient, a representative histological hematoxylin and eosin stained slide is digitalized for research purposes, including reassessment by a panel of gynecologic pathologists. Clinical and pathological data are obtained on a per-study basis from Dutch registries. Research proposals for the issue of biomaterials and data are evaluated by both the Archipelago Scientific Committee and the Steering Committee. Researchers using the biomaterials from the AOCR biobank are encouraged to enrich the biobank with data and materials resulting from their analyses and experiments. LIMITATIONS: The implementation and first 4 years of collection are financed by an infrastructural grant from the Dutch Cancer Society. Therefore, the main limitation is that the costs for sustaining the biobank after the funding period will have to be covered. This coverage will come from incorporation of budget for biobanking in future grant applications and from fees from external researchers and commercial parties using the biomaterials stored in the AOCR biobank. Moreover, we will apply for grants aimed at sustaining and improving research infrastructures and biobanks. CONCLUSIONS: With the establishment of the Dutch nationwide, interdisciplinary Archipelago of Ovarian Cancer Research infrastructure and biobank, fundamental and translational research on ovarian cancer can be greatly improved. The ultimate aim of this infrastructure is that it will lead to improved diagnostics, treatment, and survival of patients with ovarian cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-397
JournalGynecologic and Obstetric Investigation
Issue number6
Early online date30 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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