Improved biospecimen handling practices are increasingly important for cancer research as advanced molecular analysis becomes routine in clinical trials and more frequently available in standard of care medicine. Biospecimens and associated clinical data collected in a consistent, established fashion can greatly facilitate cancer biomarker validation and development and validation of clinical diagnostic assays. In order to establish a set of guidelines to improve the quality of biospecimen-related research, the NCI’s Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch developed the NCI Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources which includes technical recommendations on biospecimen handling as well as ethical and regulatory best practices. The 3rd, 2016 revised version of these Best Practices focused on updating technical and operational best practices with recommendations based on more recent research, guidance and standards for collecting, processing and storing biospecimens; revised informatics best practices; and updated ethical, legal and policy sections describing new developments on return of research results, informed consent for genomics research, data sharing, and community engagement. These Best Practices aim to help patients by improving the reproducibility of cancer research data. The NCI Best Practices are also foundational to the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative, part of which aims to establish the world’s largest research biobank that will support studies that utilize biospecimens from a cohort of one million individuals in the United States.

Citation Format: Abhi Rao, Jim Vaught, Ping Guan, Carol Weil, Helen M. Moore. The NCI Best Practices for Biospecimen Resources: 2016 revised recommendations [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 5947. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-5947