The Biospecimen Preanalytical Variables (BPV) Program was initiated by the National Cancer Institute’s Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch to evaluate the impact of preanalytical factors on the molecular integrity of biospecimens. Selected preanalytical factors including cold ischemic time (delay to formalin fixation (DTF)), time in formalin (TIF), freezing methods, and storage temperatures and durations were examined for their potential effects on molecular profiles from surgical resection tissues and matched blood from four cancer types (kidney, ovary, colon and lung). The BPV program has collected tumor specimens from 364 cancer patients. Each specimen was annotated with 300+ data elements that cover steps in the collection, handling, and processing procedures, pathology review, and clinical information. NCI conducted multiple studies using these specimens to evaluate the preanalytical impacts on different analytical platforms including gene expression profiling, copy number variation, proteomics and metabolomics profiling. The program invites interested organizations to work with NCI through collaboration to further evaluate preanalytical effects on molecular analyses ( The remaining specimens are available to support relevant research focusing on biospecimen science and/or clinical biomarker assay development ( The IT infrastructure that was developed to support BPV biospecimen collection and management has been further developed into open source products ( and The controlled vocabulary that records the terms and definitions used in describing the overall biospecimen collection efforts has been refined and published at publicly accessible CDE repositories: NCI’s caDSR ( ) and NIH’s CDE portal ( ). An ongoing collaboration with an academic ontology consortium will map the CDEs to existing biobanking ontology frameworks and make them publicly available. The BPV program has generated a wide range of ~omics data. We are preparing a BPV data compendium to be submitted to dbGaP at NCBI. These data will be used as the experimental evidence to develop evidence-based best practices for fit-for-purpose collection, processing, and storage of biospecimens for cancer research.

Citation Format: Ping Guan, Helen M. Moore. Biospecimen and data resources for cancer research from NCI’s BPV program [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 376. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-376