Melanoma Tissue Bank Facts and Goals

Why is this bank needed?

A national melanoma tissue bank of annotated fresh-frozen primary melanoma tissue is the fundamental research tool that does not exist yet for public or private research. Major advances, particularly within breast and prostate cancer, resulted from similar banks. Consequently, melanoma research lags significantly behind the progress that has been made in other cancer research. See video below to learn more.

How will this bank differ from existing banks?

Several individual melanoma tissue banks already exist at research institutions. Most lack fresh-frozen samples of “primary” tumor tissue; even fewer preserve both DNA and RNA. They also lack the network necessary to provide a national sample pool of sufficient size, demographics, and full annotation for effective research. Susceptibility, diagnostic, and prognostic biomarkers for melanoma are anticipated from the research generated by a national network of tissue bank branches, leading to more effective personalized diagnostics, preemptive treatment, and targeted therapies.

What are the goals of the bank?

To establish a national melanoma tissue bank with branches at four medical research institutions across the U.S. Each institution is recognized for its proven commitment to melanoma research. This network will gather 500 specimens with full annotation and accompanying blood and urine samples over two years, yielding 50,000 assays for research. Both public and private medical researchers engaged in qualified research will be able to access the bank for minimal administrative fees.

How much funding does the bank need?

A total of $3.5M covers the first three years of start up and maintenance. Thereafter, the financial needs are minimal may be covered by administrative fees.

Research on melanoma, one of the most genetically complex cancers, has enough laboratories. Now the right tissue specimens are needed to change the landscape of melanoma.