Precision medicine in cancer: challenges and recommendations from an EU-funded cervical cancer biobanking study.

Samuels S, Balint B, von der Leyen H, Hupé P, de Koning L, Kamoun C, Luscap-Rondof W, Wittkop U, Bagrintseva K, Popovic M, Kereszt A, Berns E, Kenter GG, Jordanova ES, Kamal M, Scholl S.

BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer (CC) remains a leading cause of gynaecological cancer-related mortality worldwide. CC pathogenesis is triggered when human papillomavirus (HPV) inserts into the genome, resulting in tumour suppressor gene inactivation and oncogene activation. Collecting tumour and blood samples is critical for identifying these genetic alterations.
METHODS: BIO-RAIDs is the first prospective molecular profiling clinical study to include a substantial biobanking effort that used uniform high-quality standards and control of samples. In this European Union (EU)-funded study, we identified the challenges that were impeding the effective implementation of such a systematic and comprehensive biobanking effort.
RESULTS: The challenges included a lack of uniform international legal and ethical standards, complexities in clinical and molecular data management, and difficulties in determining the best technical platforms and data analysis techniques. Some difficulties were encountered by all investigators, while others affected only certain institutions, regions, or countries.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the BIO-RAIDs programme highlight the need to facilitate and standardise regulatory procedures, and we feel that there is also a need for international working groups that make recommendations to regulatory bodies, governmental funding agencies, and academic institutions to achieve a proficient biobanking programme throughout EU countries. This represents the first step in precision medicine.

Br J Cancer. 2016 Dec 6;115(12):1575-1583.
doi: 10.1038/bjc.2016.340